India for maritime, economic ties with IOR nations
The Government of India, according to an official release, has proposed to establish cross cultural linkages and revive historic maritime cultural and economic ties with 39 Indian Ocean countries. According to the Union Minister of State for Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma, the 39 countries belonging to Indian Ocean Region (IOR) include Bangladesh, Bahrain, China, Cambodia Cambodia, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, Mauritius, Singapore, Yemen, Thailand, South Africa, Philippines, among others. To this effect, an action plan has also been formulated by the Government for achieving a World Heritage transnational nomination for ‘Indian Ocean Maritime Routes’. The plan also aims at a joint initiative by the Indian government and the member states in the group, to implement UNESCO Cultural Conventions of World Heritage and Intangible culture. This plan is also expected to further promote joint research and selection of appropriate sites to prepare application of trans-national nomination of Maritime Routes & Coastal Cultural Landscape sites. In this regard, a Standing Financial Committee (SFC) memorandum is also under consideration as a process to take the initiatives ahead. Indian government’s latest move towards expansion of ties with IOR countries comes under its initiative called ‘Project Mausam’, which was launched at a World Heritage Committee meeting in Doha, Qatar in June 2014. Since its inception, the initiative has received a positive support from countries like China, UAE, Qatar, Myanmar, Iran and Vietnam. The GoI has recently announced its full-fledged support to the IOR countries in terms of defence and maritime infrastructure. As a part of the maritime support, the government is willing to push naval exports to the IOR countries, say the defence news reports. According to a report from the Indian Defence & Research Wing (IDRW), India is all set to commission it’s first-ever export warship-Barracuda, to Mauritius on March 12, 2015. Prior to this, the government has already cleared exports of 13 warships to Mauritius and these are expected to be supplied in the coming year. The government is also willing to extend a similar support to all the countries in the IOR and this move by the Indian government is aimed at countering Chinese presence in the region.
This article was published on March 09, 2015.