India And Indonesia Takes Stock Of Connectivity Projects Between Nicobar And Aceh

India And Indonesia Takes Stock Of Connectivity Projects Between Nicobar And Aceh

by India Infrahub - Tuesday, December 20, 2022 01:55 PM IST
India And Indonesia Takes Stock Of Connectivity Projects Between Nicobar And AcehBeach view in Andaman and Nicobar islands (Singhabhinav7/Wikimedia Commons)
Snapshot
  • India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Indonesia’s Aceh province are separated by the Great Channel. The distance between the two countries here is just around 160 km.

    Higher official of both Asian nations discussed the ways to promote connectivity, trade and tourism between the two regions.

India and Indonesia on Monday (19 December) discussed the proposed development of connectivity between Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Aceh province as well as ways to promote trade and tourism between the two regions.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the Joint Task Force that took place in Port Blair, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The Indian delegation was led by Vishvas Sapkal, Joint Secretary (South) in the MEA, while the Indonesian delegation was headed by Jatmiko H Prasetyo, Director for South and Central Asian Affairs in the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

“The second edition of the Joint Task Force (JTF) meeting on development of connectivity between Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Aceh Province, Indonesia, took place in Port Blair on December 19,” the MEA said.

It said the two sides took stock of the progress made and the challenges faced in developing connectivity between Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Aceh since the first JTF meeting in 2019.

“To unleash the economic potential of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Aceh, the two sides also discussed ways to further promote trade, tourism and people to people contacts between the two regions, and the status of projects for port related infrastructure in and around Sabang,” the MEA said in a statement.

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,” it said.

The MEA said the development of connectivity between Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Aceh province is a key element of the shared vision of maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, agreed in May 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The third edition of the JTF is expected to take place in Aceh in 2023.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a cluster of about 836 islands in the eastern Bay of Bengal.

The clusters consist of two island groups, the Andaman Islands and the Nicobar Islands, separated by the 150-km wide Ten Degree Channel.

Aceh is a semi-autonomous Indonesian province on the northwest tip of Sumatra Island.

Both Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Indonesia’s Aceh province are separated by the Great Channel. The distance between India and Indonesia here is just around 160 km.

Location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Development of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The union government is implementing many infrastructure projects in Andaman and Nicobar Islands which are expected to transform the local economy.

Construction of roads under Andaman and Nicobar Islands Dweep Connectivity Programme, development of Veer Savarkar International Airport at Port Blair and Rs 72,000 crore project on Great Nicobar Island are some major initiatives.

Great Nicobar Island project
Great Nicobar Island project

The Great Nicobar Island (GNI) project includes ‘interlinked’ projects that together constitute the new Greenfield city at Great Nicobar.

The four projects are the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT), Greenfield International Airport, a power plant, and a township.

The idea behind the development of GNI is based on leveraging the locational advantage of being on the international sea route and developing GNI as a sustainable, green, global destination for business, trade, and leisure.

(With inputs from PTI)

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