Pakistan to develop blue economy strategy

KARACHI: Pakistan would adopt a responsible strategy on the blue economy for sustainable use of ocean resources as it is transforming into a geo-economic hub.

This was announced by President Dr Arif Alvi while addressing the inaugural session of 9th International Maritime Conference here on Saturday. The conference, titled ‘Development of Blue Economy under a secure and sustainable environment’, is aimed at analysing various facets of the ocean economy and achieving common goals of maritime prosperity and security in the region.

The president said Pakistan’s transformation into a geo-economic hub would improve livelihoods while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.

The delegates from over 35 navies of the world gathered at the platform to discuss the opportunities provided under the blue economy and suggest solutions based on emerging technology and innovations.

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President Alvi emphasised the interest of mankind in renewable energy, fisheries, food security, transport, tourism and climate change, which he said, demanded international cooperation to avoid exploitation of oceans.

He expressed satisfaction that Pakistan was heading towards a sustainable blue economy by giving importance to food security related to oceans, noting that 90 per cent depletion of fish stock in the coastal areas of Pakistan was not recoverable.

The president stressed the need for ‘inverted pyramid’ with a serious paradigm shift required in the thinking of mankind to stop the exploitation of waters, adding that the world needs to bring an end to irresponsible exploitation of oceans for the blue economy to thrive.

“As an international community, we need discipline to avert the threat to nature by reducing our footprint. Hegemonic designs in any way hinder international cooperation. Ocean has the volume to be explored, but only in a responsible way,” he said.

Alvi assured unstinted cooperation of the government to the Pakistan Navy for pursuing the goals of regional peace and security.

Naval Chief Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi said Pakistan’s coastal areas were rich in biodiversity and offered immense scope for a blue economy.

He said China’s win-win strategy of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was mutually beneficial for both countries and also for the entire region.

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