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Indo-Pacific region emerging as power centre: Navy chief

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MUMBAI (PTI): Indo-Pacific is emerging as the "power centre" of the world as some crucial sea routes pass through this "fastest" growing region, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba has said.

The region was also facing the challenges of "contradictory stance on border disputes", he said.

"Almost 60 per cent of the world population is from Indo-Pacific region. Some of the most important sea routes pass through this region along with 60 per cent of global exports in terms of tonnage and volume takes place here.

"This is the fastest growing region in the world; hence the region is becoming power centre," Lanba said.

He was on Tuesday addressing a dialogue on "Indo-Pacific: Possibilities and Portents" organised here by the Gateway House. This year's agenda for the programme is: The Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue.

"Though the region is also facing challenges of contradictory stances on border disputes, traditional and non-traditional issues, it affects the trade and growth of the region," the Naval chief said.

In 2016, five incidents of piracy and 80 arms robberies took place in the same region and most of the incidents had connection with the Philippines, he added.

Stating that the Centre has already started the Sagarmala project with huge investment, Lanba said the concept envisages development of largescale ports and to promote tourism.

"Such projects are helping the region to grow further," he said.

Sagar Mala project is a strategic and customer-oriented initiative aimed at modernising the ports so that port-led development can be augmented and coastlines can be developed to contribute in the country's growth.

When asked about the Navy's preparations for cyber command to avoid hacking, the Admiral said, "Government of India is developing cyber security agency. Tri-party agency is being set up and eventually it will be a cyber-command." PTI ND NSK

Lanba outlined the significance of Indo-Pacific region by laying out its peculiarity in terms of conflict, population density (60% of the world population), peculiarity of maritime trade routes, availability of natural resources and economic prowess (fastest-growing economic region in the world).

The Navy chief said the region is confronted with both traditional and non-traditional maritime challenges.

Unresolved sovereignty issues, territorial disputes, contradicting positions on international norms, maritime muscle flexing and general militarisation are issues of traditional challenges in the region, he added.

Speaking on non-traditional threats such as piracy and maritime terrorism, Lanba said any disruption of trade in the region will have an adverse effect on both regional as well as global economy.

Lanba said India is charting its course of economic growth using a civilisational ethos of realism, co-existence, cooperation and partnership. In achieving this role, the Navy will continue to be `net security provider' in the Indian Ocean Region.

To achieve these goals, Indian Navy has taken a number of initiatives such as humanitarian assistance and disaster Relief (HADR) operations, anti-piracy missions, Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and resource-sharing with other navies, Lanba maintained.

India's economic growth and our aspirations of empowerment of our masses would be adversely effected by any disruption of peace and stability in the region, Lanba said.

He hoped the Indo-Pacific emerges as a `region of opportunities' and assured the audience the Navy will do its utmost to play its role as India's maritime power.

Tags:

India  Pacific  Navy  Lanba  Military  
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