The Significance of Indian Ocean: The world’s third-largest water body is the Indian Ocean which covers 20% of the Earth’s surface. It is bounded by Southern Asia in the north; Arabian Peninsula and Africa in the west; the Malay Peninsula, the Sunda Islands, and Australia in the east; and by the Southern Ocean in the south. India inhabited a central and strategic location in the Indian Ocean and its national and economic interests are related to it.
India enjoys a wealthy location at crossroads of global trade, connecting the major engines of the International economy. With time, India is increasing trade relations with the countries of the East. Trade volumes have been doubled in a decade with ASEAN countries. In a short time, the Indian market has emerged as one of the largest importers of South-East Asian goods. The Indian Ocean is more than a channel of commerce, it is a home of around 2 million people. It creates opportunities which are responsible for the economic growth around the Indian Ocean rim which includes India, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa. Today almost 90,000 containers in the world’s commercial fleet transport 9.84 billion tons per year.
The Indian peninsula is nearly 1,980 km into the Indian Ocean with 50% of the Indian Ocean basin which lies within 1500km radius of India. India is one of those countries who have developed the technology to extract minerals from the deep ocean. India has the right to explore minerals within 1,50,000 square km in the Indian Ocean. Almost 95% of Indian trade moves through the Indian Ocean. Thousands of tankers come to Indian ports annually. These sea lanes are very important in the economic growth of the country. This ocean is a critical waterway for global trade and commerce.
This strategic expanse offers heavy international maritime traffic which includes half of the world’s containerized cargo, one-third of its bulk cargo and two-third of its oil shipment. It offers more traffic of petroleum and petroleum products from the oilfields of the Persian Gulf and Indonesia and contains an estimated 40% of the world’s offshore oil production. It includes valuable minerals and energy source, the ocean’s fish are of great importance to the bordering countries for domestic consumption and export. There are major sea routes which connect the Middle East, Africa and East Asia with Europe and the Americas. The given routes are the most important ways in the Indian Ocean and their closure would result in choking the global energy supplies:
China is growing its presence in the northern part of the Indian Ocean which has become a challenge for India. India is having an eye on the deployment of Chinese ships and submarines in the region. Chinese navy is growing its presence in a logistic base at Djibouti which has increased the concern of India. China has maritime disputes with various countries. None of a country has invested as much as China in shipbuilding. There are almost six to eight Chinese naval ships and few submarines in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
Expand of markets and larger imparts flows imply not only economic property but also vulnerability at sea. The incidence of piracy, armed robbery, and maritime terrorism are on the high rise which has placed a premium on the complexity of the sea lane defence. There are few rules for the security of the Indian Ocean which are:
Apart from this Indian Ocean has a significant role to play in keeping the climate moderate for Southern India. Along with its strategic importance, the Indian Ocean is the only fishing ground for the coastal fisherman in India. Due to the presence of huge marine resources, it spreads prosperity in the coastal plains of India
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