U.S. Consulate General to Host Three-Day Maritime Trade & Security Conference in Chennai & Kochi

CHENNAI: In association with the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, The Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington D.C., and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi, are organizing a three-day maritime trade and security conference on “Sea Change: Evolving Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific Region” in Chennai (June 10-11, 2014) and Kochi (June 12, 2014).

U.S. Consulate General, Chennai Public Affairs Officer David Gainer, addressing the press conference, said, “Maritime security is a global issue with numerous stakeholders having varying interests.  Cooperation and coordination are required on a multilateral and bilateral level between nations working alongside international organizations and nongovernmental organizations. How policymakers negotiate the choices, obstacles, and opportunities arising in these shifting geopolitical seas will significantly determine the future of the Indo-Pacific region.  Many important issues overlap or intertwine.”

The maritime trade and security conference will bring together senior officials and policy makers, business leaders, academic analysts, military representatives, and energy and shipping industry experts from India, the United States, Australia, China, and other Indo-Pacific region countries. The conference will address the security, socio-economic, commercial, and environmental trends and challenges affecting the Indo-Pacific region and possible solutions for the future.

David Michel, Director of Environmental Security at the Stimson Center, remarked, “With the continuing rise of India and China, and the U.S. re-balance towards Asia, the Indo-Pacific represents an increasingly important crucible for international politics and crossroads for global commerce.  Many of the region’s most salient emerging challenges and most significant new opportunities arise in its maritime space, from securing the sea lanes that carry world trade to sustainably developing the natural resources that supply the world economy.  Whether and how well policy makers around the Indo-Pacific succeed in meeting these challenges and managing these opportunities will considerably determine the course of geopolitics in the coming decades.”

Observer Research Foundation’s Senior Fellow, Dr. P.K. Ghosh said, “The Indo-Pacific hosts a spectrum of ocean activities ranging from extensive trade transportation to important energy transfers.  It is also a vast region that is alive to political turbulence as well as witness to a complex jostle for primacy between emerging power seeking to enhance their strategic influence and rushing to fill in the perceived niche left by a debatable erosion of U.S. primacy. The current accent on increasing globalization in the economic field has accentuated the importance of maritime economy and its myriad constituents, for the dependent littorals.”

The U.S. Consulate General, Chennai invites you to follow us on Twitter where we will be promoting discussions using the handles #MaritimeChennai and #MaritimeKochi.