The security of the Indian Ocean is “inextricably” linked to the stability of global economy, the U.S. has said and underscored the need for maritime cooperation between India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to uphold international norms such as the freedom of navigation.

“Maritime security in the Indian Ocean will depend more and more on the ability of countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh to work with each other, and partners like America, to uphold international norms like the freedom of navigation,” said Manpreet Singh Anand, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.

The “stability inland” also depended on how well the above countries can combat piracy and trafficking of drugs, weapons, and people on the high seas, Anand told the Pacific Council Members, according to the Press Trust of India.

He said South Asia has a tremendous growth potential as the region boasts more working-age people than anywhere in the world with its economies growing at an average of more than 7 per cent.