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About Indian Ocean Rim Association

Context:

Sri Lanka is set to take over the chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) during the 23rd Council of Ministers’ Meeting scheduled for 11th October, 2023, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It will hold the chairmanship of the association from 2023 to 2025.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Indian Ocean Rim Association
  2. Members
  3. Objectives

About Indian Ocean Rim Association:

  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association is an inter-governmental organizationwhich was established on 7 March 1997.
  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a dynamic inter-governmental organization aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean regionthrough its 22 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners.
  • It is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
  • IORA is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.
  • IORA’s apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) which meets annually to discuss the developments of IORA.
  • The United Arab Emirates is the current Chair of IORA form October 2019-2021.
  • The Vice-Chair will be the People’s Republic of Bangladesh which would take Chair as from October 2021-2023.
  • Its Secretariat is based in Cyber City, Ebène, Mauritius.
Priority areas

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has identified eight priority areas, namely:

  • Maritime security,
  • Trade and investment facilitation,
  • Fisheries management,
  • Disaster risk reduction,
  • Academic and scientific cooperation and
  • Tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.
  • Blue Economy
  • Women’s Economic Empowerment

Members

  • Promoting sustained growth and balanced development within the Indian Ocean region, IORA strengthens cooperation and dialogue with Member States namely:
  • Commonwealth of Australia, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Union of Comoros, Republic of India, Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Madagascar, Malaysia, Republic of Maldives, Republic of Mauritius, Republic of Mozambique, Sultanate of Oman, Republic of Seychelles, Republic of Singapore, Federal Republic of Somalia , Republic of South Africa, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, United Republic of Tanzania, Kingdom of Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Republic of Yemen.
  • All sovereign States of the Indian Ocean Rim are eligible for membership of the Association. To become members, States must adhere to the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Association.

Objectives

  • To promote sustainable growth and balanced development of the region and member states
  • To focus on those areas of economic cooperation which provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits
  • To promote liberalization, remove impediments and lower barriers towards a freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the Indian Ocean rim.

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