Expanding the outreach among Indian Ocean Region (IOR) countries, India on Monday made an offer to help with supply of military equipment, surveillance system and cooperation in patrolling the exclusive economic zones to prevent illegal activities.

Speaking at the Goa Maritime Conclave, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, “We are willing to work with partners in upgrading maritime hardware and software”. He named the countries where equipment has been supplied.

Chiefs of Navies and heads of maritime forces from 12 Indian Ocean Region countries comprising Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand are at the conclave.

Shringla reiterated that maritime transport and logistics were a major component of the economy. “The IOR will face an increasingly complicated, rapidly evolving and more demanding security situation, with an ever-increasing battery of threats,” the foreign secretary alluded. “India stands ready and willing to do its share – and more – in tackling these problems,” Shringla added. Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said maritime security and economic prosperity were inter-related and inter-dependent from times immemorial.