IOR countries to pursue open regionalism to stimulate growth

Trade and industry ministers of Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC) member nations agreed to promote trade within the grouping to encourage economic cooperation and development in the strategic Indian Ocean region. India (Gurgaon) and Mauritius co-hosted the first economic and business conference under the theme of “Deepening Economic Linkages for Balanced, Inclusive & Sustainable Growth”.

They decided to encourage “open regionalism” and reconcile trade practices in line with international norms and lower trade barriers. The group also agreed to build on the complementarities and identify key growth sectors.

The members also expressed concern over the debilitating global economic environment and how low rates of growth in advanced economies have affected developing economies through slower international trade and lesser FDI inflows and urged member nations to adopt measures, consistent with their WTO obligations to boost growth and development in the region.

What is IORARC?

IORARC is Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC) is an association of 20 member countries. The group came into being in March 1995 in Mauritius. Through it pass some of the most important energy transport routes from Middle East to South-East and East Asia, and securing these routes has become a global priority.

Who are the 20 members?

The IOR-ARC, which is the only pan-Indian ocean grouping, has 20 members, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran,Kenya, Malaysia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles,Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

And there are six dialogue partners, namely China, Egypt, France,Japan, and Britain, and the United States, and two observers, namely, the Indian Ocean Research Group and the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization.

Objectives of IORARC:

1.    To promote sustainable growth and balanced development of the region and Member States

2.    To focus on those areas of economic cooperation which provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits

3.    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.

What was India’s point at this conference?

India called for a common maritime security enforcement regime and liberal visa regimes to boost trade and investment. India looked for deeper relationships with the member nations and intends to play an enhanced role on the high seas to boost trade without militarising the region.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017

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