DP World, NIIF to invest $3bn for Indian inland waterways
DP World and India’s National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) plan to jointly invest up to $3bn in the South Asian nation, announced on day one of the sixth World Government Summit (WGS 2018) in Dubai.
During a panel discussion titled ‘Smart Trade, Transport and Logistics Solutions’, moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World expressed optimism at India’s pace of progress. He said: “One of the problems that we currently face is in the last-mile delivery of cargo to the customer. However, we are looking at alternative ways of transporting cargo, such as inland waterways. India has an extensive network of rivers – we are building special vessels that can navigate these waterways.”
Echoing this sentiment, Sujoy Bose, CEO of NIIF, said: “55-60% of Indian cargo currently moves by road, and only 5-10% is marine cargo. The inland waterways project, which the World Bank has invested in, is picking up steam and will be a game-changer for the logistics industry.”
Speaking about the joint investment between NIIF and DP World, Bose said: “We are creating a platform that will offer customers an efficient way to transport cargo. We are investing substantial capital into this project and combining it with global expertise to develop world-class facilities.”
Ramesh Abhishek, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion at India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry, also noted that the Indian government is investing heavily in infrastructure, which will drive growth in the logistics industry. He said: “Earlier, there was no direct port delivery, whereas today 33% of containers have direct port delivery, and 77% of containers are given direct entry for exporters. We want to increase this figure to 100%.”