As follow up to the Shared Vision on Maritime Cooperation in Indo-Pacific released during the official visit of the Prime Minister of India to the Republic of Indonesia, a Joint Indian and Indonesian team visited Sabang today to discuss follow up steps for mutual collaboration. The Indian team was led by Pradeep K Rawat, Ambassador of India to Indonesia and included officials and business delegates from Andaman and Nicobar islands. The Indonesian team was led by officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and had senior officials from other government departments including from the provincial government of Aceh.
During the visit of the Indian delegation, Indian Naval Ship “INS Sumitra” also berthed at Sabang Port. The ship sailed from Port Blair and is visiting Sabang for routine operational turnaround, wherein it will take provisions and fuel before going for further deployment in the Indian Ocean. INS Sumitra is commanded by Cdr Rajesh Rana and has a complement of 17 officers and 129 crew. This is the first time that an Indian Naval Ship has visited the port of Sabang and will be open to public visitors from Sabang.
Earlier in the day, the Indian delegation was received by the Deputy Chairman of BPKS (Sabang Development Authority) who in his opening remarks emphasized the importance of commercial and people to people contact for mutual benefit. He also made a presentation on potential opportunities in Sabang Free Trade Zone and briefed key aspects of Master Plan made for the development of the region. The team also visited Centre for Marine and Fishery which is open for private investment in its initial phase of operation.
The Indian delegation was also welcomed by Zaakaria, Deputy Mayor of Sabang in the office of City Council and he appreciated the efforts made by both countries to bring the business communities of the two Islands together. He also hoped that a business delegation from Aceh would also reciprocate with a visit to Andaman and take ahead this initiative to further strengthen economic ties.
As such, the hosting of the India Indonesia Investment Forum in Aceh and today’s visit of the Indian delegation and INS Sumitra port call at Sabang, were important follow up outcomes flowing from the understanding reached during the recently concluded visit of Prime Minister of India to Indonesia.