GLOBAL GEOPOLITICS IN TRANSITION; RETHINKING MARITIME DYNAMICS IN THE INDIAN OCEAN REGION (IOR)
The global geopolitics and geo-economics are increasingly characterized by competition between major powers in pursuit of their strategic interests. Globalization is also under a major review as nationalist protectionist policies of the leading states are re-framing the geo-economics. Consequently, the security environment in the IOR particularly in the western IOR remains in a flux due to politico-economic reasons in most cases. These developments coupled with unique strategic location and huge economic potential of the region have substantial impact on maritime security and economic prosperity in the IOR, which already has significant maritime presence of major players pursuing their respective interests. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), emerging as the catalyst of strategic realignment particularly in the IOR, has further highlighted economic as well as geopolitical importance of the Region. Thus, there is a need to re-assess maritime priorities with respect to geo-political and emerging economic environment particularly in the Indian Ocean Region.
Similarly, the need to keep maritime areas safe and secure is vital for both the economic and security spheres. This calls for greater and robust maritime security mechanisms and initiatives to ensure uninterrupted and safe transit of global maritime trade; while also denying illegal usage of the sea space.
In this backdrop, the 8th International Maritime Conference (IMC) will seek to deliberate on changing dynamics of geopolitics and analyse impact of these changes on IOR’s economic exploitation and maritime security canvas. This will enable policy makers and practitioners to propose feasible solutions for pursuance of shared objectives of peaceful coexistence and prosperous economic development.