At the very earliest, the trade routes that passed via the Indian Ocean linked Southeast Asia, India, Arabia, and East Africa. This connection dates back to at least the third century BCE. All of those regions, in addition to East Asia, were connected by a massive international network of trade routes (particularly China ).
Long before Europeans “found” the Indian Ocean, merchants from Arabia, Gujarat, and other coastal locations employed dhows with triangular sails in order to take advantage of the seasonal monsoon winds. The camel’s domestication allowed for the spread of coastal trade products to interior civilizations, including silk, porcelain, spices, incense, and ivory, among other things.
Slaves were also a commodity that was exchanged.
- 1 What was traded on Indian Ocean trade route?
- 2 What commodities were being transported through the Indian Ocean?
- 3 What resources does the Indian Ocean provide?
- 4 Why was the Indian Ocean trade important?
What was traded on Indian Ocean trade route?
The things that were exchanged across the Indian Ocean were quite varied. Spices, silk, and gun powder were among the goods that were often exchanged along the Indian Ocean trade route that originated in China. Gold was obtained from the east coast of Africa, and slaves were traded there before being sent to other parts of the continent.
What did China trade on the Indian Ocean?
Silk, porcelain, and oranges are just a few examples of the high-quality specialty items and commercial crops that China is known for exporting throughout the world. For centuries, China’s monopoly over the world’s commerce networks was responsible for directing the distribution of wealth and intellectual progress.
What commodities were being transported through the Indian Ocean?
Since the middle of the 20th century, the littoral nations’ economic progress has been unequal, which may be attributed to the majority of these governments’ acquisition of independence around the same time. The establishment of regional trade blocs was directly responsible for the expansion of maritime commerce as well as the production of brand-new goods.
- With a few notable outliers like Australia, India, and South Africa, the majority of governments in the Indian Ocean have maintained their export of raw resources while simultaneously increasing their imports of finished products produced abroad.
- As a result of the Indian Ocean’s emergence as a significant conduit for the shipment of crude oil to Europe, North America, and East Asia, the petroleum industry holds a commanding position in the commercial sector.
Iron, coal, rubber, and tea are among important commodities in the world economy. Coal is exported from Australia to the United Kingdom via the Indian Ocean, while iron ore is carried to Japan via the state of Western Australia in Australia as well as from India and South Africa.
In recent years, the littoral states’ primary export commodity has shifted to include processed seafood products. In addition, the importance of tourism has increased significantly on several of the islands. Dhows, dry cargo ships, and tankers make up the three distinct subsets that make up the shipping industry in the Indian Ocean.
Small sailing vessels with lateen rigs, known as dhows, were the most common form of transportation for more than two millennia. A large variety of goods were transported between ports on the coast of East Africa and ports on the Arabian Peninsula and on the west coast of India (most notably Mumbai, Mangaluru (Mangalore), and Surat).
- The dhow trade was particularly important in the western Indian Ocean, where these vessels could take advantage of the monsoon winds.
- The vast majority of dhow commerce has been taken over by bigger, powered ships as well as land transport; the few dhows that are still in use have been retrofitted with auxiliary motors.
Containers are used for much of the dry-goods shipping that occurs in the Indian Ocean nowadays. The Cape of Good Hope, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, and the Strait of Malacca are the most common entry and departure points for container ships in and out of the Indian Ocean.
- South Africa and India are two of the few coastal governments that have their own merchant fleets.
- The majority of the other littoral states, however, have very few merchant boats and must rely on the ships of other nations to transport their goods.
- Bulk carriers are used to transport the vast majority of other types of dry cargo.
These ships are most commonly seen transporting iron ore from India, southern Africa, and western Australia to Japan and Europe. To get to Japan from western Australia, one of the most major routes goes across the Sunda Strait and the South China Sea.
The cities of Durban (South Africa), Maputo (Mozambique), and Djibouti (Djibouti) are located along the coast of Africa; Aden (Yemen) is located on the Arabian Peninsula; Karachi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata are located on the Indian subcontinent; Colombo is located in Sri Lanka; and Melbourne, Port Adelaide Enfield, and Port Hedland are located in Australia.
These cities are considered to be major ports of the Indian Ocean The majority of tanker traffic travels from ports in the Persian Gulf through the northern Indian Ocean and into the Strait of Malacca. Conversely, tanker traffic travels from the Persian Gulf south down the coast of Africa and around the Cape of Good Hope.
- The route that went through the Suez Canal lost a significant amount of its significance when the size of tankers exceeded the capacity of the canal.
- On the other hand, the size of those tankers compensated for the longer distances that were now required to transport oil from the Persian Gulf to Europe.
Since the drafts of the largest tankers are too great to fit via the route that goes through the Malacca and Singapore straits, they are now required to transport oil to Japan via the Lombok Strait, which passes through the Lesser Sunda Islands.
What resources does the Indian Ocean provide?
Petroleum is the most important component of commercial activity as a result of the Indian Ocean’s emergence as a significant conduit for the shipment of crude oil to North America, Europe, and East Asia. Iron, coal, rubber, and tea are among important commodities in the world economy.
What goods could have Travelled on the Silk Road to get to the Indian Ocean?
Along the Silk Road, many different goods and people were transported, including spices from the East Indies, glass beads from Rome, silk, ginger, and lacquerware from China, furs from animals living in the Caucasus steppe, and slaves from many other countries. Some of the consequences had a cultural bearing.
Why was the Indian Ocean trade important?
Why is it Important to Have This Region? – 2.1 A Wealth of Available Resources
- It is estimated that 16.8% of the world’s proved oil reserves and 27.9% of proven natural gas reserves are located in the Indian Ocean.1
- In 2017, economies located in the Indian Ocean were responsible for 35.5% of the world’s iron output and 17.8% of the world’s gold production.2
- Additionally, the region was responsible for 28% of the world’s fish harvest in 2016, and since the 1950s, there has been a consistent growth in the amount of fish that has been captured in the region.
Because of this, export sectors in a number of different nations now have a solid foundation on which to build their businesses. For instance, in 2017, Indonesia and India were responsible for around 4.5 percent of the world’s exports of frozen fish. Along with other causes, the wealth of natural resources in this region has been a major contributor to the expansion that has been driven by commerce.2.2 Maritime Trade
- There are important water routes that go through the Indian Ocean, linking the Middle East, East Asia, and Africa to Europe and the Americas.
- These important sea routes I make maritime trade in the Indian Ocean area more accessible, (ii) transport more than half of the world’s seaborne oil, 3, and (iii) are home to 23 of the top 100 container ports in the world.
- The number of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moving through the ports in the region has grown by a factor of four, going from 46 million in the year 2000 to 166 million in 2017.
Singapore (with 34 million TEUs), Dubai (15 million TEUs), and Port Klang in Malaysia take the top three spots in the Lloyd’s List rankings of the most important container ports in the Indian Ocean for 2017. (13 million TEUs). Container traffic via the key regional ports of Singapore and Dubai grew by an average of 2.6% and 3.8% year, respectively, between 2011 and 2017.
This rise occurred during the years of 2011 and 2017. It is interesting to note that smaller ports in the region have had stronger growth than major ports in the region, such as the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka and the Port of Mombasa in Kenya, which on average saw 6.1% and 8.8% growth, respectively.
The area’s relationships to its external commercial partners have been enhanced as a result of increased connectivity inside the region.
- Since the year 2000, China has risen to become the most significant trading partner in the Indian Ocean area, accounting for 16.1% of the region’s overall trade in products. This percentage was just 4.8% in the year 2000.
- On the other hand, the percentage of trade that was conducted with other important partners, such as the European Union (16.8% to 12.0%), the United States (13.9% to 7.9%), and Japan (14.6% to 6.5%), decreased between the years 2000 and 2017.
Even more robust is the commerce that takes place inside regions; in 2017, it accounted for 27.2% of overall trade.2. Three New Dangers to Consider
- However, dangers like as competition among major powers, unconventional security threats, and environmental degradation continue to exist despite the importance of freedom of passage for the smooth flow of marine trade in the Indian Ocean.
- Within this region, both piracy and the trafficking of illegal drugs are gaining ground.
- In 2012, the maritime trafficking routes that passed via the Indian Ocean were responsible for the transportation of 200 kg of heroin. Between May of 2015 and May of 2016, the amount of heroin that was illegally traded rose to over 4500 kg.4
- In 2017, there were a total of 180 episodes of piracy across the world
- 84 of those events (46.7 percent of the worldwide total) took place in this region.5 These incidents undermined the safety and security of maritime trade and other activities associated to it.
Degradation of the environment is another factor that might stunt the region’s economic development. If marine resources are used in a manner that is not sustainable, this might result in the fast loss of fish supplies and other minerals. The fact that certain large economies are dependent on these resources to drive commerce and economic growth means that this might have a negative influence on the prosperity of the area as a whole.
Due to the absence of a regional maritime security architecture, major nations have been forced to compete with one another for control of the resources and sea routes in question. The further escalation of such geopolitical tensions, as seen in the South China Sea, would threaten the openness of the region’s sea routes, which in turn may disrupt trade and adversely affect energy-dependent nations like Sri Lanka.
This would be a direct result of the rising tensions in the South China Sea.