The UAE Shipping Association is calling for banks to offer more financial support to local shipowners.
Tahir Lakhani, first vice chairman of UAE Shipping Association, said the United Arab Emirates has a major shortfall of local shipowners and a major issue that owners are facing is lack of local funding.
“This is unfortunately a big problem we are facing. The major state-run players don’t have much problem in raising money as they can get financial support from the government, however, private companies always have difficulties in funding,” Lakhani said.
“There is about $6bn circulating in the shipping industry in the UAE, which is big contribution to the country’s economy, but we don’t have proper shipping banks or funds to support the sector,” Lakhani said, adding that the issue is creating hurdles for the growth of the shipowning sector.
Lakhani stressed the needs to increase awareness within the local banks to solve the issue, and the association is more than willing to help banks to set up partnerships between owners by providing ship financing expertise, adding that the local banks currently have limited knowledge on shipping finance.
Lakhani is also the chairman of Dubai Trading Agency, which controls a shipowning unit Dubai Navigation.