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NEW GEOPOLITICS IN THE INDO-PACIFIC, June 17, 2021

NEW GEOPOLITICS IN THE INDO-PACIFIC

June 17, 2021

10h00-12h00 a.m. CEST (Rome) | 13h30-15h30 IST (New Delhi) | 17h00-19h00 JST (Tokyo)

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A Webinar organized by the Embassy of Italy to Japan & the Embassy of Italy to India

Platform: Online on Zoom

→ Please Click Here to Register

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OPENING REMARKS

– Luca Sabbatucci – Director General for Global Affairs, Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
– Uyama Hideki – Director General for European Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
– Riva Ganguly Das – Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs of India

PANEL DISCUSSION

Discussants

– Lucio Caracciolo – LIMES, Monthly Italian Geopolitical Magazine
– Kikuchi Tsutomu – JIIA, Japan Institute for International Affairs
– Harsh Pant – ORF Foundation (India)

Moderators

– Giorgio Starace – Ambassador of Italy to Japan
– Vincenzo De Luca – Ambassador of Italy to India

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The Indo-Pacific Region has been increasingly recognized as one of the main engines of growth and development of the 21st Century. The area has acquired a significant geopolitical salience: it is a hub for global trade and energy supply, it is terrain for several global challenges from climate change to the resilience of maritime routes and it is at the center of the future of international connectivity.

Approximately two-thirds of the global container trade passes through the region, including over 50% of the overall EU maritime trade. The Indo-Pacific lanes are of paramount importance for a number of stakeholders that transcends the littoral countries. Furthermore, the economic prosperity of the nations who are benefitting from trade and connectivity in the Indo-Pacific is intertwined with the security dynamics of the region.

Having this in mind, Indo-Pacific powers such as US, Japan and India are promoting an increased cooperation in order to maintain a rule-based and free maritime space. Giving their economic stakes, also the European Union is looking with growing attention and involvement to the Indo-Pacific.

There is a common interest in making sure that the Indo-Pacific construct relies on an effective multipolarism.

Which role and margins a European Union key actor such as Italy can exert in the Indo-Pacific Exchequer and what kind of cooperation it can seek with Regional players such as Japan and India?

The key priorities and interests of Italy are:

– To contribute to an enhanced role and visibility of Europe, as a global power, in a region that is key for its own prosperity and for the future of stability and wealth of the international community. Italy aims at playing a constructive role in shaping a new positive agenda in the review EU Indo-Pacific Strategy.

– To foster regional cooperation and a multilateral set of agreements in an area of the World that sees national actors often divided by past tensions or by increasing rivalries.

– To support the Euro-Asian connectivity given also the fact that the shortest maritime line connecting Europe to Asia finds in the Italian ports its main entry/exit door.

– To contribute to peace and respect for the international laws and a rule based maritime space in the Region, in order to guarantee that the area remains open for trade and business opportunities and that stability and equal opportunities prevail in the Region.

– With this aim Italy, is willing to collaborate with regional actors such as Japan and India and with regional multilateral organizations, as shown by the recent acquisition of the status of development partner of ASEAN.

For Japan and India, cooperation with Italy in the Indo-Pacific could represent:

– The involvement of the country that is currently holding the G20 Presidency in the ongoing process and that share with India and Japan the same core values of democracy and freedom of navigation.

– The possibility to join forces in joint development programs and in soft security building, given the specific Italian experience as main Western contributors to peacekeeping forces and given its know-how in police, customs, border control, antipiracy training.

– Joining hands with a global manufacturing and exporting powerhouse in scouting and opening new opportunities in the Region, thus securing the mutually convenient supply chains.

– Exploring further avenues of cooperation by relying on Italy’s expertise in the field of energy transition and green economy.