Friday, March 5, 2021
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Pakistan’s strategy on blue economy

President Dr. Arif Alvi said that Pakistan besides defending its maritime borders would adopt a responsible strategy on blue economy for sustainable use of ocean resources in the benefit of mankind. President was addressing the inaugural session of 9th International Maritime Conference titled “Development of Blue Economy under a secure and sustainable environment” in Islamabad. The prospect of ‘Blue Economy’ is based on the seas and oceans as its key drivers for the economic development and growth in economy both at the seas and at the coast/ land. By virtue, Pakistan is maritime state in the Indian Ocean and God blessed it all essential elements required for a flourishing blue economy. These essential elements are about 1,050 km long coastline and about 240,000 sq km Exclusive Economic Zone of the country, three major and several small Seaports, a less developed fisheries industry and a handsome and committed Naval Force to protect the Sea life from all external threats. The maritime sector is the base of the national economy. There is a need for an integrated National effort by all relevant stakeholders to achieve this common goal. According to reports, approximately 36,000 ships sail through Pakistan’s waters, these numbers form about 40 percent of the total global ship sail across the globe. Pakistan needs to formulate a comprehensive strategy for achieving the destination of blue economy through public private partnership. Government should provide avenues, facilities, Security and incentivized polices while private sectors including industrialists, investors, fishermen and public should have to work in their domain for promotion of blue economy. Presently, fishery Department and fishery industry are ill organized, government must work to develop this sector according to international standards to improve the quality of products. Currently, Fisheries sector provide 1.5 million jobs to Pakistanis while besides fulfilling the food supply demands at home, its exports are about 2 billion US dollars. These figures are not so encouraging in accordance with the available water resources. Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) and Pakistan shipbreaking yard ‘GADANI’ both have lost their value due to mismanagement and malpractices of their top hierarchy. These two organizations should be reenergized through public private partnership. Pakistan should encourage private shipping companies to promote shipping industries. Government of Pakistan has announced the “Maritime Policy of Pakistan-2020” in the recent past, which is a significant step in this direction and provides basic guidelines for blue economy.
However, government needs to actively implement it and initiate a one window operation to facilitate the private sector in this field.

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