The Minister of State for External Affairs of India H.E. Mr. M.J. Akbar led a high-level delegation in the ‘2nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Ministerial Blue Economy Conference: Financing Blue Economy’ held in Jakarta from 8-10 May 2017.
Addressing the Ministerial Meeting on 10 May, Minister Akbar said, “India’s Indian Ocean outreach termed ‘SAGAR’ seeks a future for the Indian Ocean that provides security and growth for all in the region. We seek a more cooperative and integrated future for the region through overall development of Blue Economy, promoting increased cooperation in trade, tourism and investment, infrastructure development, marine S&T, sustainable fisheries and protection of marine environment.”
H.E. Ms. Mercykutty Amma, Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry of State Government of Kerala attended the Working Session on 8 May and gave a presentation highlighting the opportunities in fisheries and aquaculture in Kerala.
The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of IORA on 9 May was led by Mr. Amarendra Khatua, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs & DG, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The Jakarta Declaration on Blue Economy was negotiated during the SOM and adopted by the Ministers on 10 May.
On the sidelines of the visit, Minister Akbar held meetings with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia H.E. Ms. Retno L.P. Marsudi and the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs of Indonesia H.E. Mr. Luhut Pandjaitan to discuss issues of mutual interest. Minister Akbar also met with the Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, Dr. Aqil Sirodj, who briefed the Minister about the organization’s history, ideals and philosophy. The Minister also had engrossing discussion with the Editor-in-Chief of the Jakarta Post Mr. Endy Bayuni and Chief Editor of Tempo Ms. Yuli Ismartono. He also interacted with prominent members of Indian diaspora.
A Knowledge Paper on ‘Blue Economy Vision 2025: Harnessing Business Potential for India Inc and International Partners’, prepared by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) was presented during the Conference and shared with IORA member countries.
With the growing importance of the Indian Ocean as an active trade route and with the concept of Blue Economy as a new pillar of development, India plays a significant role in IORA. India has worked together with partner countries to combat piracy in the Malacca Straits and the Gulf of Aden. India is committed to promoting sustainable ocean-based growth and economic models in the Indian Ocean region.