Dear Industry Stakeholders,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the 7th edition of The Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transport Business Summit which will be held in Kochi, Kerala on Friday, 30th August, 2019. The Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transport Business Summit is the only maritime industry conference aimed at coastal shipping and transportation through inland waterways. Transportation commerce is a vital component of our nation's economic health, and sea and river-borne transportation and infrastructure underpin that health from the carriage of products and materials to the benefits of generating travel and tourism. The Coastal Shipping & Inland Water Transport Business Summit will engage leaders from the government and commercial enterprises having business interest in these domains.

From the time this summit was first conceived in 2013, it has been singularly instrumental in initiating the much-needed dialogue between the government and the shipping and logistics community for a modal switch of cargo movement. It is heartening to note that several recommendations made by think-tanks and industry bigwigs during the last three events have been considered and implemented by the relevant government departments.

The 7th edition of The Coastal Shipping & IWT Business Summit 2019 will bring new perspectives from the ongoing developments and initiatives that the government has taken up. This edition will touch upon the latest developments and future of short-sea shipping and feeder container shipping and how they form part of a competitive supply chain. The programme include economic factors impacting the maritime sector; maritime emissions and mandatory energy efficiency measures; legislative constraints/moves to regulate ports/port concessions; port priorities for container movement; the status of the feeder operators in India — today and tomorrow’s priorities; Indian port capacity versus demand; emerging markets within India for sector expansion; and technology application to minimise disruption and maximise opportunity.

I believe a summit of this kind will work as a catalyst to spur the growth of the country's coastal shipping & inland water transport and thereby contribute a great deal to the overall growth of the country.

It is with great pleasure I invite each and every one from the maritime sector to participate and support this Summit. We will be truly privileged to have your presence.

Best Regards
K. Mohandas, IAS (Retd)
Chairman, India Seatrade
(Former Secretary Shipping, Government of India)