BHUBANESWAR: Maritime trade and security, civilisational linkages, future potential of trade and blue economy in Indian Ocean Rim countries will be the focus of the three-day international conference that starts here on March 20.
Over 200 delegates from 20 nations will participate in the conference, ‘India and the Indian Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade and Civilisational Linkages’ to be inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Representatives from Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand, Mauritius, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Madagascar, Singapore, Yemen, Oman, Iran and Cambodia are expected to attend the conference.
USA and China have evinced interest in sending their representatives as observers, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters here on Saturday.
The conference will set a platform for exchange of ideas and therefore re-energise the concept of linkage in the backdrop of current geopolitical developments and alignments, said secretary of Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) Arindam Mukherjee. It is being organised jointly by ISCS and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and supported by External Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Power, Shipping, Commerce and Industry, Culture, Tourism and Agriculture Ministries.
The collaborating partners of the conference include Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Odisha Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies and National Fisheries Development Board.