New Delhi: In continuation of the process of engaging the global strategic community in an annual review of India’s opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, the second edition of Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) 2019 will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi.

This dialogue will build upon the foundation laid by the inaugural edition and will examine five fresh themes — practical solutions for achieving cohesion in the region through maritime connectivity, measures to attain and maintain a free-and-open Indo-Pacific, a regional approach to the region’s transition from a ‘Brown’ to a ‘Blue’ economy, opportunities and challenges arising from the maritime impact of ‘Industry 4.0’, and how the twin conceptualisations of ‘SAGAR’ and ‘SAGARMALA’ might best be made mutually-reinforcing on a regional level.

These themes would be addressed in five sessions spread over two days, with three of the sessions being steered as panel-discussions, which would encourage a freer flow of ideas and views and ensure greater audience interaction.

The response to this year’s dialogue has been highly encouraging and IPRD-2019 is likely to witness active participation of globally-renowned domain experts and policy-makers from thirteen countries of the Indo-Pacific — Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu are scheduled to address the audience before the conduct of the professional sessions.

Through this annual dialogue, the Indian Navy and the National Maritime Foundation aim to provide a platform for substantive and insightful discussions pertaining to the geopolitical developments affecting the maritime domain of the Indo-Pacific, and provide policy-relevant inputs to the policy-makers and the public at large.

The idea of an Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) was first conceptualised and conducted in 2018, as the apex level conference of the Indian Navy, organised by the National Maritime Foundation as the Navy’s Knowledge Partner.

The permanent theme of this annual dialogue is a review of India’s opportunities and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. The aim is to focus attention on the Indo-Pacific, as a maritime geographical-entity, while deliberating aspects of great relevance to regional geopolitics.

The 2018 edition of the IPRD sought to highlight the opportunities that lay before India’s maritime policy-shapers, policy-makers, and the practitioners of the country’s maritime policies.

This first edition dwelt upon four basic themes — the growth, opportunities and vulnerabilities of maritime merchandise trade, including associated infrastructure such as ports and multi-modal connectivity, as seen from the very different perspectives of large and small littoral and island nations, regional connectivity-models, pan-regional challenges such as sustaining persistent surveillance at sea, the increasing digitisation of the maritime space, the dangers of cyber-malevolence that are already afflicting the maritime domain, the role of Indian industry within both, the private and the public sectors, in enhancing holistic maritime-security.

The 2018 dialogue was a resounding success, with 15 analytical papers presented by renowned strategists and analysts from across the globe, in five sessions, spread over two days.