Date From : Nov 09, 2021To : Nov 10, 2021
Strategic High Tide in the Indo-Pacific: Economics, Ecology and Security

India has outlined her own vision of the Indo-Pacific as natural extension of its immediate geographical region that hosts a vast array of global opportunities and challenges. The Bay of Bengal, and its auxiliary — the Andaman Sea — is India’s geostrategic gateway into the wider waters of the Indo-Pacific. To India, the Indo-Pacific is neither a club of limited members, nor a grouping that seeks to dominate the region. By no means does India consider it as directed against any country. Instead, stretching from the shores of Africa to that of America, as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared at the Shangri-La Dialogue, 2018, for India, the Indo-Pacific vision is based on inclusiveness, openness, ASEAN centrality and unity. Conceptualising Indo-Pacific as a natural geographical region that hosts “a vast array of global opportunities and challenges,” India has launched the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) to focus on seven central pillars conceived around Maritime Security; Maritime Ecology; Maritime Resources; Capacity Building and Resource Sharing; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management; Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation; and Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport. Given the wide experience of Japan in the field of connectivity, their lead on this pillar of IPOI will prove to be a great fillip for the connectivity initiatives in the Indo-Pacific.

Southeast Asia (SEA) occupies a central position in the FOIP strategy as the region possesses internationally vital sea lanes of communications (SLOCs). It is therefore important to understand SEA’s perception about the Indo-Pacific. Is absence of any SEA country in the new construction of FOIP causing serious concern? Does SEA tend to associate the FOIP with Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) comprised of Japan, the United States, Australia, and India? What is its stance on the recently formulated AUKUS through which UK emerges as another major stakeholder in the Asia Pacific?

The Indo-Pacific is also a major market comprising 38 countries, with 65 percent of the world’s population, 62 percent of the world’s GDP and 46 percent of the world’s merchandise trade. However, for this market to be optimally utilised, there is a need for greater connectivity and freedom of navigation including the mitigation of threats such as maritime piracy, undocumented migration and terrorism. For this sake the major stakeholders have rolled out several initiatives to cultivate a greater presence in the Bay of Bengal and thereby in wider Indo-Pacific. These endeavours emphasise on dialogue and diplomacy with SEA, to strengthen logistical linkages, maritime domain awareness and facilitate naval exercises, to attain collaborative growth.

The unprecedented pandemic COVID-19 has impacted the global economy, affecting manufacturing, supply chains and the movement of people and goods. Presently, the region has seen the re-incarnation of QUAD as a new formation of QUAD-Plus with the participation of several other like New Zealand, South Korea, and Vietnam. Another formation is Blue Dot Network (BDN), a US-led multi-stakeholders initiative involving Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia and the UK. India has also expressed its interest in the BDN.

This two-day international conference, in collaboration with the Government of Japan, will be divided into three Business Sessions — ‘Geopolitics and Security’, ‘Commerce and Connectivity’ and ‘Environmental Concerns and Engagements’.


Day 1 — 9 November

10: 30 – 11:00 a.m. | Registration

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Inaugural Session | Chair: Nilanjan Ghosh

11: 00 – 11:10 a.m. | Welcome Address by Chair

11:10 – 11:20 a.m. | Introduction of Theme | Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury

11:20 – 11:30 a.m. | Special Address | Yutaka Nakamura

11:30 – 11: 40 a.m. | Inaugural Address | Vishvas V. Sapkal

11.40 – 11:50 a.m. | Special Address | Rowan Ainsworth

11:50 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. | Keynote Address | Takenori Horimoto

12:10 – 12:30 p.m. | Interaction | Vote of Thanks | Sohini Bose

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. | Business Session I: Geopolitics and Security | Dhruva Jaishankar, Collin Koh Swee Lean, Satu Limaye, Shruti Pandalai, Daisuke Kawai, Akriti Vasudeva and Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury (Chair)

Day 2 — 10 November

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Business Session II: Commerce and Connectivity | Rohan Samarajiva, Takuma Otaki, Fahmida Khatun, Akshay Mathur, Arpita Mukherjee, Saon Ray and Nilanjan Ghosh (Chair)

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. | Session III: Environmental Concerns and Engagements | Nilanthi Samaranayake, Ashley Johnson, David Brewster, Anthony Bergin, Julius Cesar I. Trajano, Tariq Karim and Anamitra Anurag Danda (Chair)

5:00 – 5:45 p.m. | Valedictory Session | Chair: Nilanjan Ghosh

  • Special Remarks | Harsh V. Pant
  • Valedictory Address | Dinusha Panditaratne
  • Vote of Thanks | Pratnashree Basu