New Delhi (Sputnik): Speaking at the third Indian Ocean Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday that the Indian Ocean was at the center of the emerging 'Age of Asia' and emphasized the need for maritime cooperation with countries within the region for the optimal utilization of natural resources.
"This region is host to the world's busiest waterways and three-quarters of that traffic is headed for destinations beyond our region … nurturing a climate of peace and stability in this region is, therefore, an important priority for our foreign policy," Swaraj added.
— Indian Diplomacy (@IndianDiplomacy) August 28, 2018
"Our vision for the region is one of cooperation and collective action. … We cannot tap the bounty of the Indian Ocean without ensuring maritime peace and stability. Economic prosperity and maritime security go hand-in-hand," the Indian foreign minister said while addressing the Indian Ocean Conference in Vietnam.
The Indian Ocean, which borders Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, is home to major sea lanes and choke points that are crucial to global trade. Nearly 40 percent of the world's offshore petroleum is produced in the Indian Ocean, which also has rich mineral deposits and fisheries.