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Maritime sector: D-8 countries synergise to fast-track cooperation

The D-8 countries have intensified efforts geared towards promoting economic cooperation among member-states through the maritime sector. In a communique issued at the end of…

The D-8 countries have intensified efforts geared towards promoting economic cooperation among member-states through the maritime sector.

In a communique issued at the end of a two-day meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, the group comprising of Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey  emphasized “the cornerstone of shipping cooperation to effectively promote trade & investment, and also stimulate the economic growth in D-8 Countries.

“The meeting reviewed the implementation of the decisions adopted at the 1st and 2nd Expert Working Group. It also discussed some substantive issues under shipping and maritime services, among others, such as ship-building and repairs, human capacity building (i.e. training for cadet), Public Private Partnership in shipping projects and infrastructure, maritime capacities, as well as stakeholders networking,” the group stated.

Speaking at its opening session yesterday, the D-8 Secretary-General, Dr Seyed Ali Mohammed Mousavi, said the group will address several challenges facing the global shipping industry and proffer solutions to be adopted by member-states.

Mousavi said that significant investment in the maritime sector is essential to achieve the socio-economic development of member-states.

“The global shipping industry is one of the biggest industries of today, including the ship building. Nowadays the ship building industry worldwide is facing some challenges like significant excess capacity, particularly due to the large improvements in productivity of the ship yards. The challenges also include over investments in the industry. The improving market outlook as empirically indicated by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and seaborne trade statistics demonstrates modest growth potential and aiding future prospects for sea transport”, he said.

While commending Nigeria’s interest in the maritime sector, Mousavi advised delegates to share experiences, best practice and public-private partnership in the promotion and development of maritime sector.

“We might need to re-strategise implementation processes and articulate specific projects and set timeline for execution, bearing in mind the strength and potential of member countries,” he said.

In his opening remark, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, advised member-states “to ensure effective monitoring and supervision of resolutions reached” to improve the standard of living of member-states in the global economy.

“I implore you to consider the need to establish concrete foundations for meaningful cooperation amongst member countries in shipping through the establishment of Memorandum of Understanding/Bilateral agreements in areas like sea time training, ship building and repairs and in strengthening of trade and other shipping activities amongst member countries,” Umar said.

The transport minister further added that Nigeria is ready to collaborate with other member-states to increase its economic growth.

Nigeria’s commissioner to the D-8 group, Ambassador Martins Uhomoibhi, who is also the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urged member-states to collaborate in shipping and other maritime activities using the multilateral approach.

The theme for this year’s meeting which was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was: “Harnessing Shipping Potentials for Economic Empowerment of the D-8 Member Countries”.

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