The emergence of non-traditional threats in the region is a major concern and collective efforts should be made for greater maritime partnerships, State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene said.
The state minister expressed these views at the opening session of the 15th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) - Working Level Meeting (WLM) hosted by the Sri Lanka Coastguard (SLCG) in Colombo on Tuesday.
He said regional forums like the HACGAM can play a major role in providing a platform for much needed discussion and medium to form stronger partnerships among the maritime community.
“The maritime domain and its affairs have become one of the crucial factors that have the ability to decide and influence present as well as future affairs to a greater extent. The Indo-Pacific region is fast becoming the centre of gravity in world affairs and has become the central area for maritime geopolitics, security, trade and environmental activities,” he said.
Emphasising on the country’s strategic location, the state minister said that it is his belief that the country’s success and progress based on its vision of blue economy.
The HACGAM is a high-level multilateral meeting of Coast Guards and Maritime Law Enforcement agencies to ensure safe, secure and cleaner seas in the Asian region which was originated by the initiatives of Japan in 2004. Presently, the HACGAM consists of 22 members.