RCL President Twinchok Tanthuwanit emphasises on key topics in MALA 2023 address
Mr Twinchok Tanthuwanit, President of the Bangkok-headquartered Regional Container Lines Public Company Limited, was one of the prominent overseas participants at Exim India’s flagship Maritime And Logistics Awards (MALA) 2023, the 13th edition, held on August 24 in Mumbai. Gracing the spectacular occasion as Chief Guest – Shipping Line, he gave an incisive and wide-ranging address that covered India-ASEAN trade and the country’s Look East Policy, the prospects for container shipping, as well as RCL’s services in India and the region.
India & ASEAN
He pointed out that India plays an important role in the ASEAN region’s trade, having signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with the bloc to boost trade in goods & services and to enable investment. Besides, the Indian government’s ‘Look East Policy’ and upgraded ‘Act Easy Policy’ are promoting economic cooperation, cultural ties and strategic relationships with ASEAN countries. This collaboration extends to various areas like blue economy, science & technology, healthcare, climate action and sustainable development, he emphasised.
Thailand: The ASEAN hub
On the role of Thailand in ASEAN, he highlighted that the country is a key player in the bloc, enjoying a strategic location that provides easy access to a large single market of over 660 million. It is a hub of ASEAN and has been instrumental in formulation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, besides being a signatory to a number of other free trade agreements.
This puts an added responsibility and obligation on RCL to effectively serve the ASEAN trade, Mr Tanthuwanit said.
Prospects for container shipping He expressed optimism on the prospects for container shipping, facilitated by free movement of Indian goods throughout ASEAN; elimination of tariffs on Indian goods making them more competitive; the diversifying and expanding inbound markets; the reducing barriers to goods and services trade; comparatively low shipping costs; focus on industry clusters such as agriculture and food, bio-chemicals etc.; foreign investment in manufacturing; and the growth in e-commerce, among others.
RCL in India & the region
He highlighted that RCL has been serving the Indian trade for more than 25 years and considers India one of the most developing economies with a steadily growing ex-im trade. He also pointed out that the line has been in the Intra-Asia trade for 44 years, with a service route spread across the entire Far East to South-East Asia to India & Middle East/East Africa comprising about 60 different service loops providing wide and efficient coverage.
He added that RCL is strategically positioning itself in this growing trade and is in the process of deploying higher capacity vessels, its vision being to excel as a trusted & reliable regional container carrier & logistics provider committed to quality, sustainability, efficiency and innovation.
In conclusion, Mr Tanthuwanit thanked the Indian trade for the trust and confidence bestowed in RCL services over the years and stressed that it looked forward to continue serving the country.
Source: Exim News Service: Mumbai, Sept. 17