International Conference on India & the Indian Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade and Civilizational Linkages
An International Conference on “India and the India Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade and Civilizational Linkages,” was held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha in March 2015. The three day event was jointly organized by the Research and Information System for the Developing Counties (RIS) , New Delhi and the Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS), Kolkata.
The conference was aimed at deepening regional cooperation in the spheres such as trade, disaster management, technology, development, streamlining business and regulatory environments and energizing social and cultural linkages. The event was organized at a time when the leadership of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORA) is in transition, and the ground is all set for Indonesia to take over as the new Chair of the IORA. The region assumes paramount importance in three distinct areas in the present day context including those of economic, strategic and cultural issues, as the region is emerging as a vibrant space in the global economy. In this context, the conference sought to re-examine and relay concepts of linkages in the backdrop of current geopolitical, developments and alignments.
IPS Executive Director, Dr. Saman Kelegama addressed the plenary session themed ‘Regional Economic Cooperation in Trade and Investment in IORA’, and made a presentation titled “IORA: Successes, Failures, and Challenges”. Dr. Kelegama also chaired a session themed ‘Business to Business Interactions in the IORA’. IPS Research Officer Raveen Ekanayake was a panellist at a parallel session titled ‘Sectoral Cooperation in the IORA’, where he made a presentation on the “Potential for Promoting Trade and Investment in Knowledge-Based Industries in the IORA Region”. Indian Foreign Minister, Shrimati Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the Conference where over 500 delegates from 20 countries around the world participated to discuss their experiences and practices in international maritime trade practises and cultural linkages.
Dr. Saman Kelegama – Executive Director, IPS
Raveen Ekanayake, Research Officer, IPS