Ocean-based trade likely to quadruple by 2050 from current annual gross value of $ 2.5 trillion

New Delhi: Adm Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy today emphasized that Indian Navy will remain focussed on contributing its might to support the Blue Economy efforts of the Government of India. “We have the resources, assets and domain expertise for mapping, characterising, monitoring as well as enforcing good order at sea. The Navy’s aim is to create an enabling ecosystem that supports the Blue Economy,” he added.

Addressing the FICCI webinar on ‘Securing the Blue Economy’, Adm Singh said that Blue Economy offers huge opportunity for India. “As India aims to emerge as a $ 5 trillion economy, the only way to achieve this is to move outwards. The oceans provide us with a vast resource pool that can be tapped to spur India’s economic growth. With the anticipated addition of the Extended Continent Shelf, our sea area will equal India’s land area. The seas must become India’s opportunity region in the coming future,” he added.

The Navy Chief stated that while the Blue Economy contributes about 4 per cent of India’s GDP, there is tremendous potential to expand its contribution. The Prime Minister has laid emphasis on India emerging as one of the leading Blue Economies of the world, with all maritime stakeholders joining hands to achieve this task.

“The Indian Navy is a key stakeholder in realizing this vision and its strength lies in ensuring safety, security and good order at sea. This is critical to enable commerce and for trade to thrive in a stable and sustainable manner. The Navy’s efforts aim to contribute to the core objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14- to preserve, protect and conserve ocean spaces and resources,” noted Adm Singh.

He said that the oceans have an annual gross value of $ 2.5 trillion that makes it the 8th largest global economy and ocean-based trade is likely to quadruple by 2050. “Two-thirds of the food production will be farmed from the seas; and clean offshore wind energy will be the leading power generation technology in the next few years,” he added.

The Chief of Naval Staff further said that with 80 per cent of world’s population residing within 200 kms of the coast, and the global population requiring 30 per cent more water, 40 per cent more energy and 50 per cent more food by 2030, a turn to the seas is inevitable, he emphasized.

Mr Akhilesh Mishra, OSD (DPA), Ministry of External Affairs said that India is in the process of developing its own comprehensive Blue Economy policy framework, which will cover coastal economy, tourism, marine fishery, technology, skill development, shipping, deep sea mining, and capacity building in a holistic manner.

He also stated that harnessing the significant potential of the ocean is vital to the economic wellbeing of any nation. This is particularly important for a country like India, where land-based resources are stressed. “Blue economy is emerging as a vital area of cooperation with nations like Australia and Indonesia,” 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 Blue economy is a vast socio-economic opportunity for a coastal country like India. The focus should be to harness oceans for economic prosperity while maintaining Environmental Sustainability and National Security, he added.

Mr Arun T Ramchandani, Co-Chair, FICCI Defence & Aerospace Committee and EVP, Guns Missiles & Armoured Systems (GMS) BU, L&T Defence said that no one nation or organization can sustainably address the issues of the Blue Economy. The collaborative investment in various surveillance and response systems supported by big data and AI is the key to securing a Blue Economy.

Adm RK Dhowan (Retd), Founder and Chairperson, SAMDeS, Former CNS, Indian Navy & Chairman, National Maritime Foundation and Dr Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, General Atomic Global Corporation, USA also shared their perspective on the potential of Blue Economy.