The Task Force produced FICCI’s first Knowledge Paper entitled ‘Blue Economy Vision 2025: Harnessing Business Potential for India Inc. and International Partners’ in April 2017. The purpose of this knowledge paper was to sensitize Indian business and industry about harnessing ocean resources sustainably.

In the second phase, the Task Force produced another study entitled, ‘Blue Economy: Global Best Practices – Takeaways for India and Partner Nations’ in December 2019. It offers a detailed exposition of the various sectoral and thematic facets of BE as applicable to India within the wider global context. The report examined the performance and growth projections, as well as the opportunities and challenges for business in the relevant sectors of the BE in India along with a detailed and critical survey of the best practices in developed economies, regional groupings, and a few select countries.

Given the high stakes of the Indian business community in the emerging national and global BE frameworks, FICCI Task Force also actively participated in another significant research-cum-outreach projects with three other institutions – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), National Maritime Foundation (NMF), and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). This quadrilateral cooperation among major institutions dealing with BE, produced
in August 2021, a publication entitled, ‘Blue Economy: India’s Pathway to Sustainable, Secure, and Resilient

The Task Force had also collaborated with the Steering Committee under the PMEAC on BE.

As the BE related initiatives and campaigns have continued, so has continued the work of the Task Force. In its third phase, the Task Force was mandated to critically examine the impact of the important developments in the BE domain in the past four years and explain the insights obtained through deep study, reflections, and widespread consultations for crafting new policy recommendations for consideration of the government and business.

Continuing with the past practice, Task Force 3.0 report provides a succinct review of the BE related developments globally and within India so far and bridges them with the upcoming future pathways. Along with updates on the current state of the major traditional BE sectors like fisheries, tourism, ports and logistics, the third phase has examined in detail the new sectoral and cross cutting thematic segments like deep sea mining, marine and maritime energy transition, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and the fast evolving governance framework of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP).

Engagement with the coastal States has continued and their BE interests have been adequately captured. A separate section is devoted to the ongoing multilateral and regional discourse on BE domain as also the current state and potential for bilateral cooperation with prominent regional and global partners. Each section clearly spells out the available business opportunities and challenges along with potential solutions.

A lot has happened since the launching of the last report in 2019 with several ideas and initiatives displaying wider appreciation and maturity, opening new vistas for consideration at policy and operational levels. The current report, accordingly, proposes a set of focused recommendations for the principal BE stakeholders from governance, business and academia.

Given the magnitude of the transition challenge, the report reiterates the importance of wholesome public- private partnership; calls for rechristening the Ministry of Earth Sciences as the ‘Ministry of Earth Sciences and BE’; emphasises the salience of mainstreaming sustainability principles along the entire supply-value chains network; promote skill development and enhancement, including application of Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) framework and offer them to other partners in the Global South; host a regional conference involving IORA and BIMSTEC partners for strengthening regional cooperation and synergies; and finally keep the public awareness at the center of general sustainability advocacy for making our plans of development future ready.