KARACHI: The 9th Inte­rnational Maritime Conference (IMC) 2021, being organised by the National Institute of Maritime Affairs under the aegis of Pakistan Navy, and conducted in tandem with the 7th Multinational Maritime Exercise Aman-2021, reached its second day on Sunday.

The conference themed on ‘Development of Blue Economy under a Secure and Sustainable Environment: A Shared Future for Western Indian Ocean Region’ featured more eminent international and national scholars who elucidated a variety of issues pertaining to maritime security, the environment and relevant growth opportunities in the region.

Like the previous day, the second day of the conference was also divided into three sessions. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf graced the first session as the chief guest. Intellectuals across the globe extended their views on the ‘Need of Maritime Security and Sustainable Growth — A Shared Vision for Western Indian Ocean Region’.

The Executive Director, Institute of China America Studies, USA, Dr Nong Hong, delivered an important keynote on the Belt and Road Initiative and its implications on maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. He emphasised on keeping Indian Ocean stable in the wake of non-traditional security threats where interests of multiple stakeholders converge.

Commander Karachi Vice Admiral Faisal Rasul Lodhi, during his talk, enlightened the audience on Pakistan Navy’s contributions to maritime security and regional stability in the Western Indian Ocean Region.

The last speaker of the session was Rear Admiral (LH) Murat Dincman of the Turkish Navy, who provided valuable insight on Turkish perspective on maritime security challenges.

Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi was the chief guest during the second session. Distinguished scholars presented their talks on ‘Development of Pakistan’s Maritime Sector and Blue Economy’.

CEO J.S. Global Kamran Nasir highlighted the maritime potential of Pakistan and the opportunities for capitalising on the blue economy whereas, Executive Director, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation Khurram Mirza discussed the private sector’s engagements in the shipping industry of Pakistan.

The Head of Maritime Education and Training World Maritime University, Sweden, Dr Michael Ekow Manuel, emphasised the importance of maritime research training in education. Later, Head of Marine and Aviation, Lloyd’s Market Association, UK, Neil Roberts presented his paper on marine insurance supporting the blue economy.

The last speaker of the session was Dr Edmund Hughes from Green Marines Associates, UK, who underscored the contemporary shipping trends and regulatory requirements for safety management and environment.

Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Ahmed Saeed was the chief guest at the third session. During the session, scholars discussed the contours of ‘Contemporary Strategic Environment of Indian Ocean Region and Opportunities for Regional Cooperation’.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed was the first speaker to share his views on the significance of building strategic partnership for socio-economics in the Indian Ocean Region.

Mayor Laut (P) Dedi Gunawan Widyatmoko from the Indonesian Navy delivered a talk on the roles of navies and the coast guard in South China Sea disputes and takeaways for Western Indian Ocean Region.

CT Ops Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Ibikunle Taiwo Olaiya discussed Nigeria’s Blue Economy Potentials and Sustainable Development in the Gulf of Guinea.

The last speaker of the session was Associate Dean, IBA, Dr Huma Naz Baqai, who presented the paper on the ‘Tripolar great game competition, cooperation or acute confrontation?’

The conference was attended by a large number of dignitaries from across the globe, defence forces officers from Pakistan and friendly countries, academia, media representatives and researchers from local and international think tanks.

The conference concludes on Monday.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2021

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