Mauritius: The second edition of the Mauritius Maritime Week, the biggest annual container ports, shipping and transport logistics exhibition and Conference in the Indian Ocean region, was launched by the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Prithvirajsing Roopun, this morning at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Balaclava.
The Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo; the Managing Director of Transport Events, Mr Rory James Doyle; the Chairman of the Mauritius Shipping Corporation Limited (MSCL), Mr Dunputh Khoosye; and other personalities were present.
The event, being held from 13 to 15 December 2022, is an initiative of the MSCL in collaboration with the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) and the Association of Indian Ocean Islands Ports (L’Association des ports des îles de l’océan Indien – APIOI).
The Conference features around 30 world-class conference speakers addressing issues, challenges, solutions and innovations in port operations, shipping, supply chain and logistics strategies.
Some 220 delegates from 19 countries, including industry principals, senior-level executives, General Managers, harbour masters and terminal operators, consultants, shippers, cargo owners, importers, exporters, shipping lines, freight forwarders, technology providers and service suppliers, are attending the event.
In his address, the President of the Republic stated that the Conference is an opportunity for the MSCL to showcase Mauritius, especially Port Louis Harbour, as an important maritime logistics and transport hub in this region of the world.
He also underlined the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, geotechnical challenges and the Ukraine war, which has heavily destabilised the maritime sector.
The maritime industry, he indicated, has been playing a crucial role as an enabler and facilitator of prosperity. He highlighted that 80% of global trade in terms of value is moved by sea, contributing significantly to economic growth in many countries and regions in the world.
“Based on the strategic location of Mauritius, the MSCL must leverage on the blue economy by promoting smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth, thereby creating employment opportunities within the Indian Ocean region’s maritime economic activities,” said the President.
He further announced that in line with budgetary measures to strengthen growth and cushion future economic shocks while enhancing integration with the Indian subcontinent and the Eastern and Southern Africa Coastal states, the Government has endorsed the decision for the creation of two new maritime routes namely, the Indian Route and the East Africa Route.
The President added that there are other emerging industries, such as aquaculture, marine biotechnology, ocean energy and sea-bed mining and cruise tourism, that have the potential to create jobs and spur economic growth.
He, therefore, emphasised the pressing need to build effective response strategies and chart the way forward to make the country become the most preferred regional maritime gateway.
For his part, Minister Maudhoo lauded the MSCL and Transport Events Ltd for hosting the event in Mauritius, which will undoubtedly promote mutual partnerships, common values, and economic interests for all. He spoke of the daunting challenges being faced by the shipping industry and urged the maritime community to unite forces so as to put in place cost-effective and efficient transport facilities.
The Minister pointed out that the country is leveraging on one of its largest asset bases, the Exclusive Maritime Economic Zone, to further develop the Ocean industry. The possibility of offering a regional shipping service to boost regional maritime trade and strengthen connectivity in the region is also being explored, he added.
As for Mr Khoosye, he said that hosting the event in Mauritius is evidence of the intent of the MSCL to foster the development of key sectors such as shipping, port and maritime industry, cruise tourism, and logistics and supply chain. He moreover reiterated the determination of the MSCL to play a key role in providing efficient and effective shipping services with a resilient capacity to sustain cargo volumes.