GIS - 15 October, 2015: Mauritius is poised to become a strategic bunkering hub with the confluence of exogenous factors such as booming south-south trade and Africa catching up rapidly and being strategically located along the South-South maritime corridor.
This statement was made yesterday by the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, at the opening of the International Bunkering Industry Association (IBIA) Regional Forum 2015 which is being held from 12 to 15 October 2015 at Le Labourdonnais Hotel in Caudan. The theme of the Forum is “Mauritius: A bunker hub - Driving the Ocean Economy”.
Mr Koonjoo recalled that Mauritius has a promising future as an ocean State, while adding that the government is committed to making the Ocean economy an important industry to sustain economic diversification, job creation and wealth generation.
Mauritius, he stressed, aims at increasing the current contribution of the shipping and maritime sector by incentivizing more vessels to call at Port Louis. Ship registering, bunkering, transshipment activities, ship repairs and many related activities will be provided, he added. Currently, some 30,000 vessels ply close to Mauritius yearly, out of which only 740 vessels called for bunkering in 2014.
Furthermore, Mr Koonjoo stated that government is leveraging its locational advantages to attract key players in the industry. The promotion of Port Louis as a transshipment hub for container vessels, fishing vessels and as a cruise hub as well as the development of bunkering business is high on government’s agenda, he said.
Speaking about maritime safety, maritime security and the prevention of marine pollution from ships, Minister Koonjoo highlighted that measures are being taken to regulate the shipping industry. These include: upgrading of legislations and drafting of a Marine Pollution Bill, drafting of a Marine Pollution Liability and Compensation Bill to cover requirements under the International Convention on Civil Liability for oil pollution damage and International Convention on civil liability for bunker oil pollution damage, and accession to major International Maritime Organisation conventions including Marpol.
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