India encourages Thailand to tap into Andaman and Nicobar’s fisheries

Picture courtesy of Nicobar Times

The Indian government is encouraging Thailand to capitalise on opportunities within its fishing and tourism industries, particularly in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Shri Vishwendra, the region’s Secretary of Fisheries, emphasised the significant potential for deep-sea fishing due to the area’s underexploited marine resources.

Despite the abundance of resources, including a potential tuna catch amounting to 148,000 metric tonnes, the islands face numerous challenges, such as limited industrial fishing activity and insufficient local demand.

To address these issues, Vishwendra suggested the possibility of technology exchanges in fisheries and seafood processing. This could help to enhance local infrastructure, build capacity, and establish a reputable brand for the island’s seafood products. He proposed that Thailand could benefit financially from exporting its technologies and expertise in the sector.

Furthermore, the idea of joint initiatives concerning port-to-port linkages was raised, with the possibility of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for transboundary collaboration in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, Vishwendra explained during the Andaman & Nicobar Investment seminar, reported Bangkok Post.

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“Thailand has been one of the world’s major exporters of marine products and also the world’s largest canned tuna producer. By working together, we could create direct trade through sea and air connectivity and boost the export of marine products from both countries.”

Keshav Chandra, the Andaman and Nicobar Administration’s chief secretary, underscored the islands’ historical and strategic importance to India and pointed to significant investments in infrastructure such as the Great Nicobar Project. He also drew attention to the tourism sector’s potential, stating that the islands’ pristine seas, bird-enriched forests, and lush landscapes make the destination appealing to Thai tourists.

Indian Ambassador Nagesh Singh highlighted India’s growing economy and the potential advantages for Thai investors. He suggested that as Thailand progresses with its land bridge project, the Indian government’s similar plans for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands could be complementary, creating benefits for both nations.

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