Bhubaneswar: The second day of International Conference ‘Purbasa’ –East Meets East saw a remarkable gathering of diplomats, intellectuals, ambassadors from east and north east India and also from South Asian countries.
The 1st session of technical session was based on the Economic co-operation of India with Asean countries which was chaired by Dr Rajat Nag, distinguished fellow NCAER. Ambassadors from countries like Vietnam, Myanmar, Japan, Sri lanka and Thailand also presided over the session as distinguished panel’s tics. In his address to the congregated throng, Dr Nag pitched up India’s look East Policy and Act East Policy for the boost of economic co-operations between eastern parts of the world. He also gave importance to free Trade Agreements for Asian Countries to come closer in terms of economic ties. India’s economic affairs will see a growth US 200 billion dollar by 2022, highlighted Dr. Nag. Amb VS Seshadri in his discussion stated that the main critical issue in economic co-operation is trade facilitation.
In the first session Former Ambassador to Myanmar; Senior Advisor, Trade and International Policy, CII, Dr Prabir De, Professor and Coordinator of the ASEAN-India Centre RIS, Amb Anil Wadhwa, Former Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs; Former Ambassador to Thailand, HE Amb Ton Sinh Thanh Ambassador of Vietnam, Amb Palitha Kohona, Former Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka, Mr U Khin Maung Nyo, Chairman, Myanmar Economic Association, Myanmar, Mr Kenko Sone, Minister (Economic) Embassy of Japan, New Delhi were present.
The 2nd Session was on Maritime connectivity and security in Indo-Pacific was chaired by Adm RK Dhowan along with the distinguished personnel from countries like Sri Lanka, Bangkok, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and India.
Addressing the Maritime connectivity and security, ADM R K Dhowan said the main issues towards services and investment agreements are India signed agreement in 2014 and 2015 onwards other 10 countries they started ratified the agreements. Till now 8 countries ratified it. If India will come forward then the pending services and investment agreement will be cleared up. FTA driven regional integration strategy in slowing down because countries have to come up with binding integration, more FTA will boost the economic cooperation. Indo pacific means the countries that committing more into security, strategic aspect maritime security. We need to do reforms in systems for co-operation. Indus Valley civilization way back to 3000 BC established a strong connectivity among ASEAN countries. Today India is a vibrant maritime nation with a natural out flow towards seas in the country’s busy sea line in India Ocean over which about 120 thousand ships travelling a year carrying 66% of the world’s oil, 15% of world’s container traffic, 33% of world’s cargo traffic. About five trillion tonnes of commercial shipping and energy supplying are transit through South China Sea every year.
The Second session was addressed by Gen PK Singh, Director, United Service Institution (USI), Prof Harsh V Pant, Distinguished Fellow; and Head of Strategic Studies, ORF Dr Dhruv Jaishankar, Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings (India), Adm Jayanath Colombage, Former Chief of Naval Staff of Sri Lanka; Director, Pathfinders Foundations, Dr Suthiphand Chirathivat, Executive Director, Asian Studies Centre, Bangkok, Prof (Dr) Aruna Gopinath, Former Professor of History, University of Malaya, Malaysia, Dr Naing Swe Oo, Founder & Executive Director, Thayninga Institute for Strategic Studies, Myanmar, Dr Vo Xuan Vinh, Dy Director General, Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam
The third session focused on Regional Connectivity which was chaired by Prof S D Muni, Former Ambassador to Laos; Professor Emeritus, JNU, Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis. Prof Muni spoke about the hardware components of regional connectivity. Gen. Arvinder Lamba said Indo Pacific corridor is lack of infrastructure and security connections. India seeks to expand its geo strategic component. It is a fundamental component to India’s security measures. Land based infrastructure is a key aspect to regional connectivity. The objective of Act East policy is to promote co-operation, economy, culture and develop strategic communication through Indo-Pacific regions. Amb Rajiv Bhatia said, India’s strategic communication is doing exceptionally good. KIF has given a best platform to redefine our neighbourhood. Amb. of Thailand said Trade investments are the institutional connectivity. Prof. Sonu Trivedi gave a detailed report on the issues related to connectivity and economic transformation.
Gen Arvinder Lamba, Former Vice Chief of Army Staff; Strategist and Analyst, Amb Rajiv Bhatia, Former Ambassador to Myanmar, South Korea, Kenya, Mexico; Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House, Mumbai, Prof Sonu Trivedi, Prof Political Science, Zakir Hussain College, New Delhi; Chairperson, South East Asia Research Group (SEARG), New Delhi, HE Mr Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand, Dr Rizal Bin Abd Kadir, Deputy Director General, Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA), Malaysia, Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh, Prof Le Van Toan, Centre for Indian Studies, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Hanoi, Vietnam.
The fourth session was chaired by Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, Director, Asian Confluence, Shillong, on the topic of Connecting Women, Youth and Civil Society, Dr (Ms) Alana Golme Director, Burma Centre, Delhi, HE (Mrs) Ma Teresita C Daza, Ambassador of the Philippines, Mr. Prida Tiasuwan, Co-founder, Social Venture Network Asia, Thailand.
The fifth session was held on the topic Energy Co-operation was chaired by Amb (Ms) Neelam Deo, Former Ambassador to Denmark, Director, Gateway House, Mumbai also addressed by Mr.Pravat Singh, MD-CEO, Petronet, LNG and Prof (Dr) Govind Pokharel, Former Vice-Chairman, National Planning Commission, Nepal.
Kalinga International Foundation is an independent, non-partisan think tank that seeks to develop new and robust partnerships between India and the countries of the region.
On 16th March Hon’ble Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the International Conference Purbasa: East meets East in the august presence of Hon Minister of Buddha Sasana; Sustainable Development and Wildlife of Sri Lanka, Mr Gamini Jayawickrama Perera; Hon Minister for Industry and Tourism of Assam, Shri Chandra Mohan Patowary and Ambassadors of Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, High Commissioners of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and the Economic Minister from Japan were also present during the inaugural event of the three day long international conference.
Chairman, Kalinga International Foundation Amb Lalit Mansingh said, “The Kalinga International Foundation believes that the East and the North East should be seen as a homogeneous cultural and economic region of India, which is playing a crucial role in the India’s Act East Policy. KIF is pleased that now, the North East and Eastern region of India will be in dialogue with the friendly neighbours on India’s east – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, with ASEAN partners and beyond with Australia and Japan.”
The Theme of the Bhubaneswar Conference is Purbasa: East meets East: Synergising the North-East and Eastern India with the Indo-Pacific. This conference brings together, for the first time, the eastern and northeastern region of India with their proximate neighbours- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and beyond, with the ASEAN nations and the wider Indo-Pacific region. The states located in India’s north-east – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and in the east- Bihar, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and in the east- Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar in the south-east, have strong common ties of history, culture, language and customs and traditions from early times. Both have a rich heritage of links with Southeast Asia and East Asia — one via the land route and the other through the maritime link.
HE Dr S C Jamir, Hon Governor of Odisha is slated to attend the Valedictory Session of this three day long International Conference as Chief Guest, and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon Minister, Petroleum and Natural Gas; Skill Development and Entrepreneurship as Guest of Honour of the evening. Prof Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksha of Thailand, Dr Bhartruhari Mahtab, Member of Parliament are also slated to address the conference.