A Singapore-based business group is interested in investing $2 billion in Pakistan’s shipping sector.
This was disclosed by Global Radiance Group Chairman Abdul Latif Siddiqui. He stated that the Singapore-based company was interested in building and managing 50 new ships for Pakistan. “The proposal needs no financial assistance from the government,” he added.
According to the report, this will help the shipping sector generate 3,000 to 4,000 jobs in the country. This investment, the chairman said, would save Pakistan $4 billion in freight charges while generating revenue.
Pakistan currently owns nine merchant ships, three tankers, and six bulk carriers, and pays $4 billion in freight to foreign ships.
Speaking about the potential of Gwadar under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Siddiqui said the prospects were bright for the shipping industry, but it’s not possible to take advantage of the opportunity without appropriate legislation and incentives.
“Incentives for importers and exporters in form of rebates and competitive freight charges would ensure sustained availability of cargo, thereby generating enough to pay off the cost installments,” he said,
Appropriate legislation to restrict transportation of cargo through foreign shipping companies, when local ships are available for the job, would also benefit the investors, he added.
The chairman of Global Radiance said that the company would project CPEC’s import and export potential to establish what sizes and types of ships would be required to ensure maximum utilization of each vessel.
“The total number of seafarers is less than 65,786 – with 18,988 officers and 46,798 crew members. Total estimated forex received is around half a billion dollars. Whereas a country like the Philippines is earning over $6 billion annually from the shipping industry, mainly through providing human resource,” the chairman added.
Furthermore, he stated “Currently, PNSC tankers are used to carry oil for Pakistan, there exists an even larger demand considering the present and future requirements due to CPEC and the proposed oil refinery,”