"The 7th International Maritime conference comes with an opportune time when China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Port have been recently operationalized, as a result of which maritime activities in the region are set to increase manifold," Zakaullah said.
He underlined that CPEC, which is a part of China's One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, is a defining development which has the potential to play a trend setting role in the region maritime landscape.
"CPEC and Gwadar Port have emerged as potential stimuli for socio-cultural integration and politico-economic development, providing much desired connectivity and excess for the entire region," he said.
He also stressed that multifaceted challenges such as maritime terrorism, piracy, trafficking in drugs, people, firearms as well as issues related to maritime environment "cannot be addressed single-handedly by any of the nation and require a collaborative approach."
The AMAN-17 is the fifth Multinational Exercise of AMAN series, held in Pakistan since 2007. Navies of 37 countries are participating in AMAN-17, including Australia, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the Unites States and Japan. The drills are held on February 10-14 in the Arabian Sea off Karachi.