KOLKATA, INDIA, July 15 (NNN-Bernama) — Twenty media practitioners from ASEAN member states who participated in the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme 2018 kick-started their trip with a visit to the Port of Kolkata, the oldest operating port in India.

The participants, who included media practitioners from the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), were briefed on port operations by the Traffic Manager of Kolkata Port Trust, Capt Himanshu Shekhar.

Himanshu said Kolkata Port, the only riverine port in India with arguably the longest navigational channel amongst the major ports in the country, handles around 30 per cent of the total container trade with ASEAN countries.

“Kolkata port has seen a growth of eight to 12 per cent in the last five years,” he said during the briefing at the port yesterday.

He said Malaysia and Singapore are two of the largest trading partners for the port, which is currently improving its physical infrastructure and cargo handling system including doubling its yard capacity and increasing the number of mechanised container berths.

Himanshu said the port has two dock systems – Kolkata Dock at Kolkata, and a deep water dock at Haldia Dock Complex, which has set a target one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled in the current financial year of 2018-2019.

He said Kolkata Dock expects to handle one million TEUs of container traffic by 2020

“Container cargo throughput at Kolkata Dock was about 640,000 TEUs in the last financial year of 2017-2018,” he said, adding that Kolkata Port was the premier port in British India in the 19th century. On knowledge-sharing between Kolkata and Malaysian ports, Himanshu said Kolkata Port intends to adopt the best practices of port operations at Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas.

After the port visit, the delegation also had a dialogue with representatives of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the only national chamber of commerce operating from Kolkata, on how the media can play a role to help facilitate trade and business between India and the 10 ASEAN member states.

The delegation also visited the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC), which was established as the first national institute for post-graduate studies and research in management by the Indian government in November 1961.

The ASEAN-India media exchange programme, held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations, aims to boost people-to-people interaction with the ASEAN bloc besides sharing insights on close economic collaboration between ASEAN and India.

The delegation will end their visit with the Delhi Dialogue on July 19 and 20 on politico-security and economic issues between ASEAN and India. — NNN-BERNAMA

Source: NAM News Network