Blue economy needs revamp in Pakistan: moot

November 18, 2022

Pakistan possesses unmatched marine life resources but it lags behind developed nations because of a lack of technology, a complete maritime policy, and a clear vision, said Vice Admiral (R) Abdul Aleem at a webinar titled "New Technology for Greener Shipping." The webinar was organized by the National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) following the launching ceremony of the special edition of "Economic Affairs" magazine on World Maritime Theme Day 2022.

The vice admiral said Pakistan has not given the shipping sector enough attention because it had 70 ships some five decades back but it only has 13 ships in 2022, which handle 10% of the country's seaborne trade. He said Pakistan's more than 1,000 km of coastline may draw thousands of tourists and turn into a regional tourism hub similar to the Maldives, thanks to its shimmering gold sand dunes and distinctive coral reefs, which are unusual in nature.

According to Prof. Azhar Ahmad of Bahria University, Pakistan has enormous resources in the blue economy that are yet unexplored and need exploration. Thus, the media should play a role in highlighting the significance and difficulties of this sector. In highlighting the challenges facing Pakistan's blue economy, he said that sea blindness is a regular occurrence in poor countries like Pakistan, where the industry has been overlooked owing to a land-oriented attitude and a lack of awareness of its true potential.

Former ambassador, Naghmana Hashmi said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has a significant impact on Pakistani marine life as the country carries out 91% of its trade through the sea. Therefore, it is imperative to organise conferences, media campaigns, road shows, and academic events to highlight the blue economy's promise for the nation.She said, "Our interest in the maritime industry has reduced over the years due to various reasons, but institutes like NIMA (National Institute of Maritime Affairs) are playing an instrumental and remarkable role in reviving one of the game changer agents of Pakistan’s economy.

"Engro Vopak, Chief Executive Officer of Ismail Mahmud, informed the forum that Engro terminals are working on the "Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Project" to preserve the life-sustaining woods of the beaches of Port Qasim Karachi. On the front of community intervention, he said that Engro created a programme for sustainable coastlines in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan and is actively involving the neighbourhood fishermen near its terminal at Port Qasim. Adnan Samdani, General Manager of Fauji Oil Terminal and Distribution Company (FOTCO), said sustainable operations are carried out at FOTCO through oil spill contingency under strict standard operating procedures.


Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk