By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR: Biju Janata Dal Lok Sabha MP from Kendrapara , Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda has adressed Indian Ocean Conference in Singapore. Other speakers included Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, former Minister Shashi Tharoor, Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and many others from India. Speakers also included Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickramasinghe.
Delegates from 20 Countries attend the meet. Ministers and political leaders from Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Maldives and others. US Asst Secy of State Nisha Biswal also spoke at the plenary with MP Panda.
The meet was organised by Ram Madhav, Shaurya Doval and others at the India Foundation, in partnership with well known institutions from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.The next conference will be held in Sri Lanka, and thereafter in other Indian Ocean nations by rotation.
“India’s ongoing re-engagement in this region is extremely important. I touched on ancient Kalinga’s maritime traditions and close links here, as well as the Chola empire’s influence here and in the South China Sea. I also spoke of India transitioning from decades of diffidence into a new, confident attitude, but one which believes in cooperating with other nations for mutual benefit, and abiding by international rules (something that is particularly important for this sensitive part of the World), MP Panda posted in his social media site FB.
India’s growing economy and trade links, as well as its aid to several nations is an asset to the unfolding of this Asian Century, besides being a positive for overall global development, he added.