Indian-Ocean Rim Association

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Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
Logo of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
Headquarters Ebene Cyber City, Mauritius
Working languages
Type Intergovernmental
• Secretary General
India K V Bhagirath[1]
• Chair
 Indonesia (2016-2018)[2]
• Vice Chair
 Australia (2016-2018)[3]
• 6 March 1997
Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation
Time zone (UTC+2 to +10.5)

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.[4] The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them. It 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.[5] The Coordinating Secretariat of IORA is located at Ebene, Mauritius.


The organisation was first established as Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in Mauritius on March 1995 and formally launched on 6–7 March 1997 by the conclusion of a multilateral treaty known as the Charter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation.[6] The idea is said to have taken root during a visit of former South African Foreign Minister, Pik Botha, to India in November 1993. It was cemented during the subsequent presidential visit of Nelson Mandela to India in January 1995. Consequently, an Indian Ocean Rim Initiative was formed by South Africa and India. Mauritius and Australia were subsequently brought in. In March 1997, the IOR-ARC was formally launched, with seven additional countries as members: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Yemen, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique.[7]

The apex body of the IOR-ARC is the Council of (Foreign) Ministers (COM). The meeting of the COM is preceded by the meetings of the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG), Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum (IORBF), Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI), and the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO).[8]


The objectives of IORA are as follows:[6]

  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 liberalisation, remove impediments and lower barriers towards a freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the Indian Ocean rim.

IORA members undertake projects for economic co-operation relating to trade facilitation and liberalisation, promotion of foreign investment, scientific and technological exchanges, tourism, movement of natural persons and service providers on a non-discriminatory basis; and the development of infrastructure and human resources, poverty alleviation, promotion of maritime transport and related matters, cooperation in the fields of fisheries trade, research and management, aquaculture, education and training, energy, IT, health, protection of the environment, agriculture, disaster management.


The Association comprises 21 member states and 7 dialogue partners, the Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation and the Indian Ocean Research Group has observer status.[9]

Dialogue Partners[edit]

Countries with the status of dialogue partners are:[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Secretary-General". Indian Ocean Rim Association. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Chair". 
  3. ^ "Vice Chair". 
  4. ^ "IORA Membership". Indian Ocean Rim Association. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Scope of Work - OPEN REGIONALISM". Indian Ocean Rim Association. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Formation". Indian Ocean Rim Association. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "About IOR-ARC". Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation 2013 Australia. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia). Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]