Event Reports


      Key Takeaways:

1)          Close Maritime Neighbors: Andaman-Aceh perspective has brought to the fore, the discourse that India and Indonesia are very close ‘physical neighbours’ in addition to being cultural and spiritual neighbors.


2)          5Ts: Connectivity between Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Aceh province of Indonesia can unleash enormous potential for growth in 5Ts: Transport, Trade, Tourism, Transit, Togetherness. Six areas of cooperation, namely, trade and investment, infrastructure development in Sabang, connectivity development, marine and fishery, tourism and exchange of culture, science and technology are highlighted and discussed.


3)          Enabler for a Bay of Bengal Community: Increasing Andaman-Aceh connectivity will be a building block for securing the vision of a Bay of Bengal community.


4)          Focus Areas of Cooperation:

a.     International flights from Veer Savarkar International Airport (Port Blair airport) to popular destinations such as Phuket, Bangkok, Medan, Jakarta, Bali etc. may be allowed to operate.

b.     Besides, the direct shipping links – both passenger and cargo – between Andaman and Aceh, and also other islands should also be started. Both the countries may consider signing the India-Indonesia coastal shipping agreement.

c.     To encourage trade and commerce, participants has recommended for trade fairs, tourism fairs, B2B collaborations, think-tanks networks, media exchange, etc.

d.     Besides, innovative proposals like trade in local currency (Rupee – Rupiah trade), completion of India-Indonesia Bilateral CECA, etc. had also come up.


e.     Cooperation in deep sea fishing: Andaman still engages in traditional way of fishing and that is a major drawback pulling the people back achieving their full potential. It is high time to get into organized fishing and deep-sea fishing. Potential is huge with 1, 47,000 metric tons of fishes available.


f.      Tourism development has potential, but needs to be ecologically friendly and offers substantial benefits to the local people.


g.     Fresh water security cooperation is an area that needs focus.


5)          Benefit of connectivity should enrich the person in the last mile in the region.


6)          Indonesia is keen on having closer cooperation with India in strengthening the IMT- GT (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand Growth Triangle). This will enable layers of trade, investments and tourism among the literal states of Bay of Bengal.


7)          Focus on ecological sustainability: Any development needs to factor in fragile ecosystem of A&N and Aceh. It is good to encourage development but in the context of how sustainable is it especially given the fragile ecosystem of Andaman and Nicobar.


8)          Inter-island connectivity between Andaman and Nicobar is the first and foremost issue that needs to be addressed.


9)          Address the Plastic Pollution: The biggest issue in Andaman that faces is plastic pollution. A plastic gyre in the middle of Bay of Bengal is gravitation towards Andaman and Nicobar and this issue of plastic pollution.


10)     Blue economy between the two nations. India and Indonesia must collaborate to unlock Blue Economy potentials in view l of reaching bilateral trade target of US$ 50 billion.


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