Second JFT meeting to develop Andaman and Nicobar

Dec 19: The second edition of the Joint Task Force (JTF) meeting on the development of connectivity between Andaman & Nicobar Islands (ANI) and Aceh Province, Indonesia took place in Port Blair on 19 December 2022. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Vishvas Sapkal, Joint Secretary (South), Ministry of External Affairs and the Indonesian delegation was led by H.E Mr Jatmiko H Prasetyo, Director for South and Central Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia.

During the meeting, the Heads of Delegation took stock of the progress made and the challenges faced in developing connectivity between ANI and Aceh, since the first JTF meeting in 2019. To unleash the economic potential of ANI and Aceh, the two sides also discussed ways to further promote trade, tourism and people-to-people contact between the two regions, and the status of projects for port-related infrastructure in and around Sabang.

To improve trade and investment, the JTF agreed to enhance opportunities for interaction between business chambers and potential investors on both sides. With international tourism reviving after the pandemic, the two sides agreed to encourage sail tourism, cruise ship visits, and interaction between tour operators. Taking note of the rich marine resources in the region, they also agreed to cooperate in the capacity building of fishing operators and learn from each other’s experience. The JTF also discussed ways to enhance academic cooperation and cultural linkages between ANI and Aceh.

The development of connectivity between ANI and Aceh is a key element of the Shared Vision of Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, agreed in May 2018 by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President of Indonesia, H.E Mr Joko Widodo. The third edition of the JTF is expected to take place in Aceh in 2023.

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