Bhubaneswar: Marking ocean as the source of world power, India on Sunday said the country needs to revive its past maritime glory by strengthening its naval power and sought wide research on the sea.
"The countries which have good naval power have been able to dominate the globe. The countries like Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom have become world power because of their naval power," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said delivering the valedictory address at an International Conference on "India & the Indian Ocean-Renewing the Maritime Trade & Civilisation Linkage" here.
Stating that India was located in a very crucial part of the Indian Ocean, Parrikar said, though, the country's maritime past was eventful, it lost the track in the mid ways.
However, the Union Minister said, the country has started thinking along that line after Narendra Modi assumed office of the Prime Minister.
The NDA government's importance on the 'Look East' and 'Act East' foreign policy aimed at reviving the trade and renewing the country's age-old links with Indian Ocean Rim countries.
"This is the right time to work in tandem with Indian Ocean Rim countries. Today ocean requires attention like space," the former Goa chief minister said.
"Indian ocean and its rim countries are the place having 56 to 57 per cent of world oil reserve and have about 45 per cent of the world's gas deposits. Two-third of the oil trade of the world is taking place in Indian ocean," Parrikar pointed out.
Stating that every litre of oil going to China and other
countries is shipped through the Indian Ocean, Parrikar said 50 per cent of the Continent's trade goes through Indian ocean.
Therefore, Parrikar pointed out that the cooperation among the Indian Ocean Rim Countries need to be strengthened. This is because, the sea is the power.
"India's strength is its non-violence. And the nation can do this if it is strong. A strong person can dictate peace and not a weak one," the Defence minister said.
Parrikar said, "It may be a small group, but working in close cooperation will help all the partners. Therefore, I propose in forming a common platform for the Indian Ocean countries."
The three-day conference, inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on March 20, was jointly organised by Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and Institute of Social and Cultural Studies.