Resources & Climate

Maritime Trade & Security Conference

The Indo-Pacific region is rapidly emerging as a key focus of maritime geopolitics.  The waters of the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific represent an increasingly critical avenue for world trade and arena for global security.  Growing prosperity in Asia, mounting dependence on natural resource flows linking producers and consumers around the Middle East and Africa across to the Pacific Rim, and globalized supply chains and distribution networks are knitting the region ever more closely together by sea, transforming the Indo-Pacific into a major crossroads for multiple maritime security, economic and policy issues.  At the same time, persistent problems ranging from piracy in the open ocean and weak/failing states on the shore to prospective rivalries among rising naval powers, territorial disputes in the regional seas, and intensifying environmental pressures on marine and coastal infrastructures and resources pose significant governance challenges for policy makers around the Indo-Pacific littoral. 

To explore these issues, the Stimson Center and the Observer Research Foundation, in association with the U.S. Consulate General Chennai, co-hosted a three-day maritime security conference entitled “Sea Change: Evolving Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific Region.” The conference took place in two segments, one in Chennai (June 10-11, 2014) and the second in Kochi (June 12, 2014).

The conference gathered senior officials and policy makers, business leaders, academic analysts, military representatives, and energy and shipping industry experts from India, the United States, Australia, China, and throughout the Indo-Pacific region.  Participants considered the emerging security, socio-economic, commercial, and environmental trends affecting the region, examined their implications, and helped formulate policy recommendations that will be presented to the U.S. and Indian governments, to decision makers across the Indo-Pacific region, and to the broader international community. 

Full Conference Slides:                                                            

Panel 1: Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific

Panel 2: Maritime Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific

Panel 3: Maritime Security Challenges in the Indo-Pacific

Panel 4: Maritime Security Structures

Panel 5: The Indo-Pacific Maritime Highway

Panel 6: Natural Resources and Environmental Challenges

Panel 7: International Orders in the Indo-Pacific

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