India,Austria sign agreement on shipping, ports

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 03, 2012 15:54 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 3 (IBNS) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technology Cooperation in the Shipping and Ports Infrastructure was signed on Wednesday between India and Austria.

The MoU was signed by Minister of Shipping G. K. Vasan with Doris Bures, Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation & Technology, in New Delhi.

While welcoming the Austrian Minister, Vasan recalled that traditionally, India-Austria relations have been warm and friendly.

There has been regular exchange of high level visits between the two countries during which the special emphasis is put on strengthening economic and commercial cooperation and scientific cooperation, he said.

"With its central location in the heart of Europe and historical linkages and legacy with the countries of the region, Austria is also well placed to serve as a gateway to emerging market economies in Central & East Europe. Cutting edge technology is Austria`s forte in several niche areas of interest to us, particularly in infrastructure," he said.

"Shipping continues to dominate as the world's most efficient means of transportation and it is the endeavour of the Ministry of Shipping to take necessary initiatives to recognize, reward and promote quality whenever and wherever it is found within the industry," said Vasan.

He said new technologies for implementation of International Ship & Port Security code, use of radio frequency identification in logistics and transport planning and optical character recognition in terminals to speed up the processing of containers in and out are the areas where Austrian expertise could be utilized in India.

Realtime Kinematics (RTK) measurements of tides and currents for facilitations of berth to berth navigation in Gulf of Kutch and Gulf of Khambat could be developed with Austrian expertise, the minister said.

"Since more than 300km of Danube river in Austria is used for navigation purpose with a well-developed and regulated inland waterway system their experience and expertise in the field of Inland Water Transport would be beneficial to the development of Inland Water Transport in India," said Vasan.

The minister also hoped that signing of the MoU will pave way for sharing appropriate know-how, scientific knowledge and research and development capabilities between the two countries.

It will enable the Indian organizations in the Ports and Shipping Sectors to acquire latest knowledge and technology etc. from Austria, he said.

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