Navy Chief R Admiral Hari Kumar on Wednesday dished out statistics at the Indo Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) to insist securing maritime domain is important equally from the economic point of view. The IPR is considered as the ‘fastest growing region of the planet’ since it accounts for 62 per cent of global GDP, seven out of ten export destinations are in this area, holds about 3,000 species of shallow marine fish which is one-third of the global share, and, among others, 60per cent of global maritime trade passes through this sea route, the Navy Chief said.

He cautioned about the possibility of traditional inter-state conflict, and stated that there is an increased risk to the rules based order, emanating from disputes of jurisdiction and undermining of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), besides other threats.

Explore options

This dialogue, the Navy Chief told a gathering of global experts and thinkers, offers an excellent opportunity to establish convergences on shared security challenges, and to explore options for collective responses to keep the oceans free and open.

“Most countries in the region have limited capacity and capability to harness their maritime resources. There is an opportunity here, for us to co-operate and seek collaborative solutions to realise the true potential of Blue Economies. Two of the pillars of IPOI (Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative), maritime resources, and trade, connectivity and maritime transport, are aimed at this,” Admiral Kumar stated.

Security matrix

The Navy Chief also mentioned about maritime terrorism and proliferation of advanced technologies which he stated, have further complicated the security matrix. Chinese surveliance ships have been spotted in the region, including Yuang Wang 5 that sailed into Hambantota port in August despite India’s objection.

“Inevitably, given its increased centrality in global affairs, the region has witnessed increased presence of maritime security forces from a multitude of nations – regional as well as extra-regional. It is amply clear that a prosperous Indo-Pacific hinges on a peaceful maritime domain,” Admiral Kumar emphasised.

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