News by Rajesh Sharma
May 30, । the official visit of the Prime Minister of India to the Republic of Indonesia on 29-30 May 2018, President of Indonesia, H.E Mr. Joko Widodo, and H.E. Shri Narendra Modi discussed the Shared Vision of the two countries on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
Recalling the Joint Statement by the two countries on Maritime Cooperation on 12 December 2016 during the State visit of President Jokowi to India;
Noting that both India and Indonesia are maritime neighbours and sea faring nations, whose relations are rooted in civilizational contacts developed through the seas and who share similar perceptions of the evolving maritime environment in the region and world at large;
Desirous of strengthening their maritime cooperation for promotion of peace, stability and bringing in robust economic growth and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific region;
Recognizing that with a coastline of 7,500 kms, with more than 1,380 islands and more than two million sq. km of Exclusive Economic Zone, India occupies a central position in the Indo-Pacific, while Indonesia as the largest archipelagic State in the world, with a coastline of 108,000 kms, with 17,504 islands and features and a total of maritime areas of 6,400,000 sq. km including Exclusive Economic Zone, is a fulcrum that connects the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. The two oceans represent a combined maritime region which is important for global maritime trade and commerce;
Adhering to the rights and obligations under the international law including the Charter of the United Nations, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC);
Reiterating the importance of achieving a free, open, transparent, rules-based, peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, where sovereignty and territorial integrity, international law, in particular UNCLOS, freedom of navigation and overflight, sustainable development and an open, free, fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment system are respected;
Acknowledgingtheneed to maintain maritime safety and security for peace, stability and sustainable economic growth and development in the maritime waters of the Indo-Pacific region as enshrined by UNCLOS and relevant international laws;
Welcoming the elevation of bilateral relationship between the two countries to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and creation of new mechanisms like bilateral security dialogue, trilateral dialogue, signing of an enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes;
Appreciating the leadership role played by Indonesia and India as previous Chairs of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to build a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean region through enhanced cooperation as mandated in the Jakarta Concord and Plan of Action as the results of the IORA Leaders’ Summit held in March 2017 in Jakarta to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the IORA;
Noting that free and open seas, as regulated by UNCLOS, are essential for peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the international community;
Underscoring the importance to address the emerging maritime security issues facing the Indo-Pacific region including the smuggling of people, arms, drugs and money; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; and the movement of terrorists;
Emphasizing our collective interests in a prosperous Indo-Pacific region by enhancing connectivity for promoting regional prosperity based on universally recognized international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency, equality and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in this regard looking forward to the expeditious conclusion of ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Agreement;
Exploring the convergences and complementarities in the region between India’s Act East Policy and Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR), and Indonesian Ocean Policy and Indonesia’s Global Maritime Fulcrum Vision, while reaffirming the importance of the ASEAN centrality and unity;
Recognizing of the importance of the Blue Economy as a driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development in the region;
In pursuance to the above, the Leaders agreed to a Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to harness the opportunities and to meet the challenges together as Comprehensive Strategic Partner and agreed to the following:
a. Enhancing Trade and Investment Cooperation:
Encouraging greater flow of goods, services, investment and technology between the two countries and the region to further develop our economies sustainably.
Taking necessary steps to enhance connectivity (institutional, physical, digital and people-to people) between Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India and Provinces in Sumatera Island of Indonesia to promote trade, tourism and people to people contacts; facilitate B to B linkages between the Chamber of Commerce of Andaman and the ones of the Provinces in Sumatera, including Aceh.
Working towards human resource development on the basis of bilateral collaboration, with a view to strengthening cooperation in capacity building for maritime safety, promotion of fishing industry, marine living resources management through technical cooperation, including, through exchange of experts, provision of equipment and financial assistance.
Development maritime infrastructure and promoting maritime industries, especially in fisheries and ship-building.
b. Promoting sustainable development of marine resources:
Enhancing science-based management and conservation of marine living resources.
Combating climate change and ensuring protection of environment and natural resources.
Combating, preventing, detering and eradicating illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing and recognizing crimes related to fisheries crime as one of the emerging crimes, which has become an ever-growing threat to the world causing marine environmental degradation.
Promoting Blue Economy as a key source of inclusive economic growth and job creation.
Combating marine plastic debris through bilateral and regional cooperation.
c. Expanding cooperation in disaster risk management:
Strengthening disaster preparedness and disaster risk management in the region, especially aid to victims of disasters.
Improving geodetic data-sharing, methods and infrastructure and further developing early warning systems in the region for forecasting and communicating disaster-related risks and hazards.
Revitalizing bilateral cooperation in disaster management including regular joint exercises between the relevant agencies and training cooperation to augment capacities to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian requirements.
d. Fostering tourism and cultural exchanges:
Increasing people to people contacts to promote regional economic growth.
Encouraging sustainable development of community-based tourism and eco-tourism.
Working towards creation of Andaman Sea tourism by improving connectivity between Sabang Island and Port Blair as well as Havelock Island in Andaman for promotion of sail tourism, cruise ships, marine adventure sports, diving and wellness tourism.
Creating institutional linkages between Al-Muslim University of Bireuen, University of Malikussaleh of Lhokseumawe (Aceh), Jawaharlal University, New Delhi and appropriate institution in Port Blair for creation of a Centre of India-Indonesia studies at Al-Muslim University.
e. Promoting Maritime Safety and Security:
Strengthening the existing security architecture in the Indo-Pacific which is anchored in ASEAN-led mechanisms
Establishing an open, inclusive and transparent cooperation, with the aim of delivering peace, security and prosperity to all associated with the region.
Strengthening the existing naval cooperation including the bilateral Coordinated Patrols initiated in 2002 between the Navies of the two countries and commencement of regular bilateral naval exercises.
Enhancing information sharing related to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region.
Concurring to build on the existing maritime boundary agreements and reaffirming support to the Technical Meetings for expeditious negotiations for a mutually acceptable solution on the delimitation of maritime boundaries between the two countries based on the principles of international law, including UNCLOS.
Assigning expert level of both countries to continue explore ways in enhancing strategic technical cooperation on maritime security including in creating better and expanded maritime awareness.
Pursuing bilateral cooperation in the areas of hydrography and marine cartography.
Promoting cooperation in capacity building for maritime safety, including search and rescue and pollution control, through technical cooperation including the exchange of experts, provision of equipment and financial assistance.
Promoting cooperation between coast guards through capacity building activities, establishing hotline(s) and single point of contact and regular consultation meeting/coordinated patrol and joint exercise.
Further intensify cooperation for a safe and secure Indian Ocean within the framework of the Indian Rim Association Organisation (IORA).
f. Strengthening academic, science and technology cooperation:
Promoting cooperation between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and National Institute of Aeronautics and Space of the Republic of Indonesia (LAPAN) in monitoring earth’s environment from outer space and remote sensing of the earth.
Developing research capacity and transferring marine technology among research and development institutions and academics