Maritime connoisseurs marked their presence at the virtual edition of INMEX SMM India

The coveted virtual conglomeration of the Maritime & Shipping industry witnessed a footfall of 
2876 visitors

1st December, 2020, Mumbai: The virtual edition of  INMEX SMM India (19-20 Nov ), the premier trade exhibition for the shipping and maritime industries by Informa Markets in India and Hamburg Messe und Congress concluded on a successful note, witnessing a footfall of 2876 domestic and  international buyers from U.S., U.K., UAE, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Qatar, Turkey, Brazil to name a few. The expo brought together, globally renowned brands, key government officials, consultants, trade associations and business experts under one platform, to discuss key issues in the Indian Shipping arena that included Maritime Vision 2030 document, digitalization in Shipping, Impact of COVID-19 on shipping among other areas. 

The inauguration of the INMEX SMM India Virtual Expo was marked by the presence of  leading dignitaries that included Rear Admiral Rajaram Swaminathan, Admiral Superintendent of Naval Dockyard (Mumbai), Mr. Sabyasachi Hajara, Retd, CMD, Shipping Corporation of India, Chairman, INMEX SMM Advisory Board;  Mr. Claus Ulrich Selbach -Business Unit Director, Hamburg Messe Und Congress GmbH; Dr Malini V Shankar, IAS (Retd), Vice Chancellor, Indian Maritime University & Chairperson, The National Shipping Board, Government of India; Mr. Amitabh Kumar, IRS, Director General of Shipping, Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of  Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Government of India, and Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India. 

Speaking on the successful conclusion of the virtual edition of INMEX SMM India, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, Managing Director, Informa Markets in India said, “ India’s role as a Shipping and Maritime power is crucial as 95 per cent of trade by volume and over 70 per cent by value takes place via sea routes. More than 80 per cent of India’s energy supplies also arrive along these sea lanes. The Supply chains, shipping networks and ports have witnessed disruption in the pandemic leading to plummeting cargo volumes and foiling growth prospects. However, the recent news that the vaccines may soon be available offers a ray of hope and in such a scenario it is expected that the maritime trade growth may return to a positive territory and expand by 4.8% in 2021, assuming the world economic output recovers . If India has to thrive and recover its growth momentum in the post Covid-19 world of ultra geo-economic activities, the country must trade with the world. India being the sixteenth largest maritime country in the world, with a coastline of about 7,517 km, we believe this sector has a huge potential to be one of the major engines bringing in a Maritime Revolution. Maritime Power and the Blue Economy could be a way out of the abyss the pandemic induced slowdown has hurled India into.”

“INMEX SMM India Virtual Expo along with its 2 days content rich conference, was timely and pertinent Offering a comprehensive platform for the Maritime industry for vital business continuity, conversations and connections.” He further added.

The virtual expo included a two-day conference, with thought leaders in the domain discussing ‘Maritime India -Vision 2030 Document’; ‘Shipping 2020 –Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic’; ‘Decarbonisation In A Post-COVID-19 World?’; ‘Design optimization for Fuel Reduction and Greenhouse gas Mitigation’; ‘The Future of Sealane Security’; ‘Coastal shipping and Transport via Inland Waterways & Water Transport in Cities’; ‘Digital and Technological Advancements in the Shipping Industry’; ‘Cyber security On board Ships’ and ‘India as a Net Security Provider’, among others. Leading speakers at the conference included Mr. Guy Platten, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping,  Mrs. H K Joshi, CMD, Shipping Corporation of India, Mr. Madhu Nair, CMD, Cochin Shipyard Ltd, Captain S M Halbe, CEO, The Maritime Association of Shipowners, Ship Managers and Agents (MASSA), Christopher Palsson, Managing Director, Maritime Insight, Head of Consulting, Lloyd’s List Intelligence, Maritime Intelligence and Mr. Girish Sreeraman, Area Manager Maritime - India, Srilanka, Bangladesh and Thailand at DNV GL – Maritime. 

Industry Speak at the INMEX SMM India Virtual Expo:
Speaking at the inauguration of INMEX SMM India Virtual Expo, Mr. Sabyasachi Hajara, Retd. CMD, Shipping Corporation of India, & Chairman, INMEX SMM India Advisory Board, said, “ It has been a great pleasure for me to participate in the INMEX SMM India Virtual Expo. It is the first-of-its-kind event in India. What has impressed me is the contents of the various presentations and the overall number of visitors. Every industry including the shipping & logistic industry is a knowledge-based industry and the best way to succeed is to increase professionalism by sharing knowledge. Hence INMEX SMM India Virtual Expo emerges as a successful event for the industry.”

Speaking about INMEX SMM India,  Dr. Malini V Shankar (Retd. IAS), Chairperson, The National Shipping Board, Vice Chancellor, Indian Maritime University said, “My felicitation to INMEX SMM India for organising India's first Virtual Exhibition & Conference for the maritime industry on November 19-20, 2020. The event, as a pioneer in organising virtual conferences, turned out to be extremely good with the best people from the maritime sector coming together and discussing a variety of subjects. It is very useful to bring various stakeholders on a single platform and this event is an excellent forum for the technical aspect as well as the policy aspect associated with the industry. This is a kind of platform where policy recommendations can be discussed and crystalised and submitted to the government as a high-level recommendation. It is also useful for technical aspect including maritime education & training keeping with developments in technology. I wish INMEX SMM India all the best, and I hope that in future this event will be the one that people will look forward to and want to be there.” 

Mr. Amitabh Kumar, IRS, Director General of Shipping, Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of  Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Government of India,  in his inaugural speech spoke about how COVID-19 had overshadowed many of the achievements of countries in implementing the move towards a low Sulphur regime.  “These have been developments in a year when we have talked about nothing but the pandemic. The pandemic has not stopped shipping and has led to several innovations to achieve our goals.  We have worked hard to find solutions to the tasks at hand, managing COVID-19 on board, offshore, ships and related industries on shore.  The seafarers have faced the wrath of COVID-19 the most, many of them are still facing it. The problems seafarers are facing is not related to COVID-19 but to the politics related to it.  If countries like India could come up with testing facilities within 30 days of the start of the pandemic at ports, while also coming up with containment and quarantine zones, there is no reason why other countries cannot do it. The world is not doing enough for seafarers with politics taking precedence over policies.  It is agreed by all international organisations that seafarers need to be given due respect, we need their services, and all assistance needs to be given by the international community to enable them to discharge their duties.

At the same time, the world has also evolved because of COVID-19.  A lot of technology adoptions has taken place which would otherwise have taken years to come in such as E-learning, virtual training, online modules, online exams, digital certification for training. These are the changes and technologies the world needs to know and build upon. We should not let these gains go away when the situation improves.  This holds a huge potential to change the way we are doing business. India is looking for a great maritime future.  Legislative changes are being brought in, Major Port Bill has been introduced, Merchant Shipping bill is undergoing changes, New Coastal Shipping bill is under public discussion. In all these areas we have had old legislations, which have been restrictive. We are also looking at easing the provisions for ownership of Indian vessels. Making rules less cumbersome for 100 per cent FDI in shipping, foreign entities participating in ship ownership. Ports, waterways, and shipping, equal emphasis has been given on ship building, ownership and training, innovative handholding for new entrepreneurs in India.      

Speaking on the Maritime Vision 2030 document, Mrs. HK Joshi, CMD, Shipping Corporation of India observed that the vision document has still not been adopted and is under consideration. The document has come at the right time and is a visionary approach of the Ministry to ensure growth. It talks of how India’s vast coastline of over 7500 kms and waterways need to be developed to realise our maritime economy. “Shipping is at the core of the entire maritime vision document and also underpins the rechristening of the Ministry as the Ministry of Ports, shipping and waterways.  Vision 2030 document aims for India to become self-reliant in shipping, ship building and ship infrastructure and a global player. If we become a leading domestic player, we can move on to the global map. Shipping, ports, inland waterways are going to be industries which are going to churn the development of the economy. The maritime sector can oil the wheels of the economy. Shipping is the core and the prerequisite for the growth of ship building. We need to have substantial growth in Indian tonnage which will automatically boost ancillary industries.  Maritime Vision 2030 document integrates all of these to ensure Indian built, flagged and owned, foreign built and Indian flagged and owned ships can support the existing tonnage and find the advantage.”

“MSMEs are also the country’s economic engines that can get into coastal shipping, multimodal transport, Inland waterways, modernization.   If we are self-reliant, we can improve our global footprint  India’s GDP is large but our smaller neighbours are picking up momentum. We have to work and strive to be the dominant player in the Indian ocean and Arabian Sea. We will then be able to achieve our footprint in the global arena with forward and backward integration.  Increase in tonnage will also go a long way for energy and maritime security.” She further added.


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