Blue Economy and maritime security deeply intertwined and mutually dependent on each other

New Delhi: Adm G Ashok Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy today said that the Indian Navy’s (IN) coordinated patrols with our maritime neighbours, coupled with our (the Navy’s) expeditious responses have elevated our status as a preferred security partner and first responder with the Indian Navy contributing handsomely to the responsibility of shouldering the Prime Minister’s vision of security and growth for all in the region, or ‘SAGAR’.

Addressing the valedictory session ‘Securing the Blue Economy’, organized by FICCI, Adm Kumar said a Blue Economy needs a stable and secure environment to sustain and grow. “This is enabled through an effective maritime security. With growing maritime interests, growth of our Navy is inevitable. The blue economy and maritime security are deeply intertwined and mutually dependent on each other. We will be successful in moving ahead in a cohesive and a coordinated manner with a clear-eyed focus on the greater good at the national regional and global level,” he added.

Speaking on the IN’s capability building efforts, Vice Chief of Naval Staff said that they have been a major contributor towards growth of the shipbuilding industry in the country. “Right from inception, the Indian Navy has been deeply committed towards building its platform indigenously. As on date, 39 of the 41 ships under construction are in Indian shipyards. The plough back effect towards the economy, skilling of our population in the field of ship construction, creation of jobs for axillary industries are all bound to be of positive support to the broader Blue Economic initiatives of the nation,” he said.

Adm R K Dhowan, (Retd), Founder and Chairperson, SAMDeS Former CNS, Indian Navy & Chairman, National Maritime Foundation said that India is essentially a maritime nation with vast maritime interests. “These maritime interests are enablers of our Blue Economy and have a vital relationship with nation’s economic growth. In the past few years, there have been a series of initiatives for the sustainable development in the maritime domain, including the quest to harness the Blue Economy,” he said.

Adm Dhowan further added that there is a need to chart out a blue economy action plan at the national level for the sustainable development for our maritime interests. “We need to adopt a more integrated approach in the maritime sector and therefore, we need to have an apex level organisation to coordinate the planning processes of the various agencies and departments that operate in the maritime domain. We need to incorporate marine spatial planning so that we can optimally map our coastal areas, carry out development of our ports and harbours in a systematic manner,” he added.

Mr SP Shukla, Chairman, FICCI Defence and Aerospace Committee, President (Def, Aero, Agri and Steel), Member of the Group, Executive Board, Mahindra Group said that there is an enthusiasm about the growth of the Blue Economy, especially in the context of our nation. “Our thrust area is for a policy to enhance the contribution of the Blue Economy to India’s GDP; improve lives of coastal communities; preserve marine biodiversity and maintain the national security of our maritime zones. The government, multiple ministries, the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard, and the Indian industry will need to come together for India to emerge as a leading blue economy of the world,” he added.

Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI said that the symposium had contributed immensely to the Prime Minister’s vision of tapping the Blue Economy. “FICCI has pioneered outreach and policy response towards this. FICCI, with its task force on Blue Economy, will continue to strive towards reaching to the potential of this sector,” he added.