Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, highlighted the need to maintain Freedom of Navigation and Freedom of Digital Connectivity in the Indian Ocean for the region to grow and prosper and the need for a shared understanding in order to maintain peace and security.
The Prime Minister was delivering the keynote address at “The Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future” conference in Colombo where representatives of 40 participated to discuss the future of the Indian Ocean.
The Premier said that with increased focus on Indian Ocean it has the potential to become a growth pole in the world economy in the future.
Meanwhile, State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva, Chairman of the Task Force that organized the Conference, said that the Indian Ocean economy is rapidly becoming a global growth pole in an uncertain world beset by economic risks.
“The region’s economic expansion needs to be inclusive, broad- based and environmentally sustainable so that we leave a meaningful legacy for future generations. Strategic mistrust and non-traditional security threats (such as maritime crime, over-fishing, pollution and protection of undersea cables for the digital economy) are significant challenges to achieving regional peace and prosperity; and the rules-based international maritime order centred on UNCLOS needs strengthening and reinforcing for the benefit of the Indian Ocean littoral states and maritime users,” he said.