Blue economy has emerged as a commonly acceptable development paradigm which has effectively blended economic growth with sustainable development. Since the early 1990s, the global debate has enabled the world community to acknowledge the efficacy of the idea of Blue Economy.
The concept has been accepted and promoted by both developed and developing countries as a new development model for littoral countries, including small, medium, large, LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This development model started with the basic premise that the oceans and ocean-related activities are important for economic and social development of the coastal nations, and these activities form the core of the Blue Economy. Maritime fishing, shipping, maritime trade, etc. are not only part of Blue Economy as construed traditionally, but several other activities, deeply entrenched in almost all sectors of the economy, are also forming part of blue economy. These activities spread into core sectors including agriculture, minerals, construction, energy, manufacturing, services, among others. Further, Blue Economy sectors are comprehensive in nature, combining both goods and services activities generated within each sector. There are multifarious issues involving Blue Economy, but it is still emerging as the most dynamic sector in the world economy for several countries. Its canvas has been large, but knowing one's Blue Economy in all its dimensions is a formidable task. With a view to take policy action, conservation, protection and sustainable use of ocean resources are the core issues for national, regional and global debate. In order to address inefficiency in marine resource use and enhance the frontiers of marine economy, Blue Economy paradigm provides convincing solutions as it internalizes sustainability in a holistic and mutually-reinforcing path.
Blue Economy Forum (BEF) aims to serve as a dedicated platform for fostering dialogue on promoting the concept in the IORA and other regions. The forum would also focus on conducting studies on the potential, prospects and challenges of Blue Economy; providing regular inputs to practitioners in the government and the private sectors; and promoting advocacy for its smooth adoption in national economic policies. Research findings of the forum will be disseminated in the form of reports, monographs, policy briefs, statistical profiles and newsletter. In addition, the forum would undertake studies on cross-cutting issues including role of SMEs, women empowerment, vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States and private sector participation. The forum would facilitate linkages between the policymakers, academicians and business community in the IORA and other regions