As China expands maritime footprint in IOR, India is hoping to sell indigenously built defence equipment, such as fast patrol vessels & Akash missile.

Amid the ongoing stand-off with China, India will host the defence ministers of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) for a conclave on 4 February, focusing on security concerns and collaborative efforts. India also hopes to sell some indigenously developed defence equipment to the countries of the IOR.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said the conclave.

Will part of the Aero India event scheduled next month in Bengaluru.

And its theme will ‘Enhanced peace, security and cooperation in the Indian Ocean’.

Invites have been sent out to 28 countries with the option.

Of attending physically or virtually, with sources labelling the conclave a ‘hybrid’ event.

The conclave will followed by two seminars by the Indian Navy and the Department of Defence Production.

The IOR is of strategic importance to India, which sees.

The region as a natural extension of its sphere of influence.

The sources said. India has gone from calling itself the next “security provider” in the IOR to the “preferred security partner”.

The IOR a geographical construct bound by Africa to the west.

Asia to the north and east, and Australia to the South East.

The region produces more than 40 per cent of the world’s offshore petroleum, and is home to rapidly growing economies.

Lt Gen. S.K. Saini, the vice chief of the Indian Army, had said in December that India’s dominant position at the geographical centre of the Indian Ocean as well as its robust economy.

And global standing as an upholder of law and democratic values placed it in a firm position to play a vital role in the quest for peace and stability in the region.

A source had said at the time that a number of countries are looking at various military systems, and.

Not all of them have the capability to procure from Western countries that are global defence exporters.