The Indian Ocean Rim Association

The Indian Ocean Rim Association includes 23 countries from Africa, West Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Australia and littoral states situated in and around the I

The Indian Ocean Rim Association- Map

The grouping, whose apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers that meets once a year, moves by rotation through members every two years.

Historical context

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1997, aimed at promoting regional cooperation and sustainable development among the countries located within the Indian Ocean rim. The association’s headquarters are located in Ebene, Mauritius.

IORA’s membership includes 23 countries

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • The Comoros
  • France
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • the Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Oman
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • The UAE
  • Yemen

It also has 11 dialogue partners

  • China
  • Egypt
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Russia
  • Türkiye
  • The U.K.
  • The U.S.

The IORA’s objectives include: 

  • Strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development
  • Strengthening economic cooperation, particularly in the areas of investment and trade facilitation, promotion, and social development

The IORA’s Fisheries Support Unit (FSU): 

  • Makes decisions and provides advice on the management of fisheries
  • Provides advice on issues such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing

The IORA’s Secretariat is responsible for:

  • Managing, coordinating, servicing, and monitoring policy decisions, work programs, and projects adopted by member states

The Indian Ocean region faces many safety and security challenges, including:

  • Piracy
  • Armed robberies at sea
  • Terrorism
  • Human trafficking
  • Irregular movement of persons
  • Drugs trafficking
  • Illicit trafficking in wildlife
  • Trafficking of weapons
  • Crimes in the fisheries sector such as IUU

Economical aspects

It contains a third of the world’s population (2.6 billion people) live in the region, and 80% of global oil trade, 50% of the world’s containerised cargo and 33% of its bulk cargo passes through it.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) focuses on economic integration. It has eight priority areas, including:

  1. Maritime security
  2. Trade and investment facilitation
  3. Fisheries management
  4. Disaster risk reduction
  5. Academic and scientific cooperation
  6. Tourism promotion and cultural exchanges
  7. Blue Economy
  8. Women’s Economic Empowerment

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