Home Editorial Indonesia the Host of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Summit

Indonesia the Host of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Summit

For the first time, Indonesia becomes the Summit of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held 5-7 March 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Jakarta.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) was officially established on 6 to 7 March 1997. In the beginning, the organization was called the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). But, at the 13th Ministerial Meeting in Perth, Australia, IOR - ARC was changed into IORA to raise public awareness that this is a forum to unite the countries of the Indian Ocean as one region.

As a country located in the Indian Ocean rim, Indonesia has become one of the IORA members since 1997. Even, Indonesia officially holds the chairmanship of IORA for 2015-2017 periods with South Africa as Vice Chairman at the 15th Ministerial Meeting in Padang, West Sumatra. Indonesia is the only chair of IORA that sets the theme during the chairmanship, namely Strengthening Maritime Cooperation in a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean.

IORA includes approximately 2.7 billion people or 35 percent of the world's population. However, its role has not been fully utilized.  In the trade sector, for example, currently it is only occupied by six countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa. To that end, the Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Trade is giving more attention in trade to the other countries, such as Bangladesh, Kenya, Mozambique, United Arab Emirates, and Iran. By optimizing the summit it is expected the IORA member countries can expand or deepen the new potential markets. IORA itself has a strategic role as a forum to drive stability of the region and it is the future of the world’s economy.

In his capacity as IORA Chair, Indonesia has set a priority to strengthen regionalism in the Indian Ocean region through the establishment of IORA Concord, mainstreaming the idea of World Maritime Axis, promoting IORA cooperation and cross-cutting issues and continuing the strengthening of institutions.

Through this summit, it is expected that Indonesia is able to explore the increasing bilateral trade and multilateral cooperation coverage with several key countries, like the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Bangladesh, Iran, the United States and Britain.

Hopefully the IORA Summit 2017 can run safely and smoothly and can produce an agreement and cooperation for the realization of maritime cooperation in the peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean. (AHM)

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