Managing Maritime Infrastructure: Lessons from UAE and China

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Ports play a significant role in the development of a country since it links the domestic economy with the rest of the world and thus help in promoting international trade. As a result, port development becomes a major issue for policy making and ongoing economic reforms and trade liberalization. It is well known fact that the port development and

macro-economic development are closely related. On the one hand macro-economic development necessitates port development as part of infrastructure development. On the other hand, port development itself facilitates import-export and attracts industries to its hinterlands, which in turn create a forward and backward linkage with the rest of the economy. It is generally conceded that coastal regions have always benefited from the development of a port. However, the benefits have changed with the passage of time, due to the evolutions in industry, technology and in the general nature of trade. The transition from an intermodality system to the integration in production – distribution chain has impacted the way in which a port organizes itself. Arising from this evolution in the role of a port, the objectives and the characteristics of port have been driven to change. Having started this transition, port development is now faced with many challenges.1

This article intends to focus on port development/management aspects, because experience has shown that port development does not always live up to expectations. The following analysis will attempt to pinpoint some of the aspects of managing maritime infrastructure by analyzing the successful port operations worldwide and particularly reviewing the port operations of Dubai in UAE and Shanghai in China, which can help to resolve some of the obstacles of port development in India.

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