‘Indian Ocean Center of Emerging Asia’: Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Sarbananda Sonowal during a special session of the Asian Confluence River Conclave 2022


Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday stressed the exploitation of marine resources and environmentally responsible economic growth in the Southeast Asian region for sustainable development.

He said India is seeking a “more cooperative and integrated future for the region through the development of ocean-based blue economy.”

“A distinct feature of the blue economy is the exploitation of marine resources for economic and social development and environmental sustainability without compromising the conservation and replenishment aspects of these finite natural resources,” said the Ports Minister, navigation and waterways.

Linking economic growth to ecological balance, Mr. Sonowal said, “A related aspect is the emergence of the blue economy as a promising new pillar of prosperity in the region, with immense economic and use “. “Blue Economy” refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs while maintaining the health of the ocean ecosystem.

“As global realities change, the engines of economic growth are shifting to our region. We have an opportunity here to become partners as the Indian Ocean becomes the center of the emerging ‘Asian era’. .

“This new awakening is a recognition of our linked destinies, our interdependence for a cleaner environment and our belief in shared opportunities,” the minister said.

He was speaking during a special plenary session at “Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence 3: Asian Confluence River Conclave 2022” here.

“We who live in and around the Indian Ocean must own and bear primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” the former Assam chief minister said.

Speaking on the Centre’s Act East policy, the Union minister said the government remained “deeply committed” to it.

“At the heart of this are the ASEAN countries. Deeper economic integration with the dynamic nations of Southeast Asia is an important aspect of our Act East policy.

“To this effect, we are interlocking tightly in a co-prosperity web through an intricate web of rail, road, air and sea connections. We are also working to revive the waterways in India and aggressively use them for cargo and passenger traffic as it saves costs and is an environmentally friendly mode of transport,” Sonowal said.

He also said that progress has been made on the Indo-Bangladesh protocol route for transporting heavy goods and it has also benefited neighboring countries like Nepal and Bhutan to access the Indian Ocean.

“Maritime transport helps to strengthen economic integration. We all need to take time-bound initiatives to reduce the structural gap in terms of maritime and maritime infrastructure,” he added.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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