Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 7:
A three-day international conference on ‘Indian and The Indian Ocean– Renewing Maritime Trade & Civilisational Linkages’ among Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries, jointly organised by the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), will kick off in the Odisha capital from March 20.
Representatives of 20 IOR countries— India, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand, Mauritius, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Madagascar, Singapore, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Cambodia— will participate in the three-day deliberations covering vital aspects of trade, maritime security and civilisational linkages. Apart from the participating IOR countries, China and USA have evinced interest to send observers.
Besides, eight ministries and top office bearer of Government of India will attend conference which will be inaugurated by Union External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
Socio cultural similarities, civilisational linkages, exciting facts on ancient maritime trade, security and the future potential of trade and blue economy in Indian Ocean region will be explored by eminent scholars, researchers and experts in the conference.
Union Petroleum & Natural Gas minister and chief patron of the conference Dharmendra Pradhan and NSA Ajit Doval will be the guest of honour.
“With its rich maritime trade history, Odisha has been selected to host this conference as part of the current policy of the Centre in organizing major activities in the state capitals and cities of related states instead of concentrating all at the national capital,” Pradhan told the media here today.
“This conference will certainly place Odisha up in the international trade map while simultaneously giving a boost to sectors like tourism, shipping and export trade,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the reception committee of the conference headed by eminent litterateur Haraprasad Das and had its first formal meeting today at Bhubaneswar in the presence of Pradhan.
The three-day conference will have parallel sessions and serious deliberations on the three vital aspects of trade, regional maritime security and civilisational linkages in the region.
It is hoped that through the conference there will be a thorough study and analyze on Indian Ocean from all the aspects and perspectives -historical, economical, geo political, cultural, energy security, religion, literature, trade, migration, diaspora etc., and rejuvenate the deep ties that bind the regional nations.
Knowledge sessions apart, an Exhibition on the Indian Ocean: The Seafaring Legacy will be organized during the inaugural session of the conference which would conclude on March 22.