ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday congratulated the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for finalising a new and dynamic “Blue Economy Policy” aimed at revitalising the shipping sector.
The premier tweeted that the new policy would help save valuable foreign exchange of Pakistan. “We will ensure Pakistan fulfils its enormous maritime potential,” Mr Khan expressed the commitment over harnessing the largely untapped sector.
His tweet highlighted that the potentials of Blue Economy include creating more employment opportunities for the country’s seafarers.
PM Khan had declared the year 2020 as the Year of Blue Economy to gain maximum advantage of the blue economy resources.
Policy aims to strengthen shipping sector
Meanwhile, federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi said that the government would overcome all challenges and deliver its best through exploring potential of Blue Economy in Pakistan.
Talking to Dawn, he said that the “Blue Economy” concept encompasses many industries like ports, shipping companies, energy, renewable energy, fisheries, maritime transportation, tourism, climate change and waste management, besides others.
“However, we are moving towards all potentials sectors step by step and the shipping policy announced recently, the deep sea fishing policy would be announced by mid of next month,” the minister said.
He added that the deep sea fishing policy has been finalised, it covers all four components required to take advantage of any natural resource — appropriate licensing regime that would benefit investors as well as the government, secondly the policy has to cater for maximum transparency and provide support to the general public which are the fishing communities in this case.
He added that the last and the most important segment of deep sea fishing policy is related to environmental protection to maintain the sea life sustainable.
“Currently the fish and seafood exports of Pakistan are limited to $450 million only, but it can be enhanced to $2-2.5 billion if we have a proper deep sea fishing policy,” Mr Zaidi said. “We will overcome challenges and deliver our best by realising and maximising the enormous potential of Blue Economy in Pakistan”.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2020