Sagala calls for ‘Oceanic Good Governance’


Project Management, Youth Affairs and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka, addressing the 3rd Indian Ocean Conference in Vietnam, yesterday, called for ‘Oceanic Good Governance’ in the region and said Sri Lanka was dealing with regional players who had major economic stakes in the Indian Ocean.

"Sri Lanka is also pushing to further integrate with the world by undertaking reforms to facilitate trade and encourage productive foreign investments," the Minister said. "Sri Lanka has a clear vision of what the country wants to be in the world today. It is repositioning itself to optimize its relationship with its neighbours and other partners, to leverage its geostrategic position and make it a hub of the India Ocean," he said.

Explaining Sri Lanka’s position on the matter, the Minister said, "Sri Lanka’s strategy is to leverage investments to boost its industries such as tourism, expand its manufacturing base, and safeguard its main exports: such as garments and tea. Accordingly, the Indian Ocean region plays a critical role in driving the global economy, and it will play an even more important role in the future."

Ratnayaka said that maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean was a prerequisite for the development and growth of the region and that it was the collective responsibility of the international community to ensure that the Indian Ocean was better managed, safe, productive and resilient - through ‘Oceanic good governance’.

"The issues around the Indian Ocean are complex and require concerted effort by littoral states to address the issues and take advantage of the opportunities that the ocean presents. At present there are multiple Indian Ocean organizations and forums, however in terms of achieving effective regional cooperation there is still a long way to go. Therefore, what is the most suitable regional architecture that will focus on key issues but also provide the necessary perspective of sub-regional dynamics that drives a coherent overall policy on ocean governance?" the Minister asked.

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