Karachi:   The three-days International Maritime Conference
(IMC-21) organized on the theme of 'Development of Blue Economy under a Secure
and Sustainable Environment: A Shared Future for Western Indian Ocean Region' by
National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) under the auspices of Pakistan Navy
has commenced. The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi
graced the Opening Session as Chief Guest. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral
Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi was also present on the occasion. The conference is
being held in tandem with 7 th Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN 2021.
Eminent international and national scholars from Australia, Bahrain, China,
Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA are participating in
the three days conference and will share their thoughts on the dynamic theme.
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, international scholars are also joining
the Conference online.
While addressing the audience, the Chief Guest emphasized the strategic
importance of Western Indian Ocean Region for international commerce & trade and
also underlined that government is cognizant of the importance of blue economy and
has initiated major policy reforms to support the maritime industry and maritime
stakeholders. The Honorable President added that global economic system was
significantly dependent upon unhindered activity in the maritime domain, which
demanded a collaborative approach for maintaining a secure maritime environment.
Pakistan, blessed with important geostrategic location, is in a unique position to
provide global connectivity through CPEC to promote and facilitate economic
integration between Asia, Africa, Europe and beyond.
The President assured the organizers and participants of the Conference that
their suggestions will be given due consideration at appropriate forums and will go a

long way in supporting Government's efforts for the development of our maritime
sector. He congratulated NIMA for hosting the Conference and expressed his hope
that the institute will continue its endeavors to promote research and discourse on
maritime issues. The President also appreciated Pakistan Navy for actively
promoting maritime thought in the country and spearheading efforts for the
development of Blue Economy in the country.
Earlier, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi in his
opening remarks welcomed the guests and participants of the Conference. The
Naval Chief highlighted Pakistan Navy’s efforts for promoting maritime awareness in
the country and the Blue Economy through a variety of initiatives and pointed out the
key role of Pakistan Navy in enhancing regional maritime security through its
contributions in international and regional collaborative security mechanisms. The
Admiral thanked all the worthy speakers, participants and guests from Pakistan and
abroad for their valued participation in the Conference.
International Maritime Conference (IMC-21) is a three days conference held in
tandem with 7 th Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN 2021. The first day of the IMC
was divided into three Sessions. In the First Session, apart from opening addresses
by the Chief Guest and the Naval Chief, IMO Secretary General, Honorable Kitack
Lim presented the opening remarks whereas, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir,
Sardar Masood Khan delivered the keynote address. In addition, CEO Zero
Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERO) South Africa, Dr Gunter Pauli talked on
'Blue Growth Strategy for the Future World' as the other online keynote speaker.
During the Second Session, former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee,
General (Retd) Ehsanul Haq graced the conference as the Chief Guest. Prominent
speakers of the session comprised, Senator Sherry Rehman who expressed her
thoughts on the Geo-Strategic Environment in Indian Ocean Region – Opportunities
for Developing Countries. Besides, Commander US Naval Forces Central
Command, Vice Admiral Samuel Paparo also delivered his keynote online address
on Enhancing Regional Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean through
Effective Mechanism. The last speaker of the Second Session was Australian
National University Professor Dr. David Brewster, who talked about challenges and
opportunities of changing maritime dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region and its
implications for the regional states.

Minister for Defence, Mr Pervez Khan Khattak was the Chief Guest of the
third and last Session of the IMC-21 Conference. In this Session, Rear Admiral,
YMGB Jayathilake of Sri Lankan Navy highlighted the Challenges of Maritime
Security and proposed Future Course of Actions for Regional Navies. Later, Dr.
Timothy Walkers from South Africa discussed the South Africa's Perspective on the
Blue Economy and Security Management. Besides, Professor Dr. Zafar Nawaz
Jaspal, of Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad also presented critical analysis on
'Emerging Geo-Strategic Environment and Indo-Pacific Strategy'. Last speaker of the session was Ms Camille Lons, Research Associate from International Institute of
Strategic Studies, Bahrain.
The First Day of International Maritime Conference was attended by a large
number of dignitaries from across the globe, Officers from Defence Forces of
Pakistan and friendly countries, academia, media representatives and researchers
from local and international think tanks. International Maritime Conference (IMC-21)
will continue for the next two days and would cover the thoughts of distinguished
International and National scholars.