Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

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The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) was launched in Mauritius on 6-7 March, 1997.

The Indian Ocean Rim defines a distinctive area in international politics consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean. It is a region of a diverse mix in terms of culture, race, religion, economic development and strategic interests.

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The Association comprises the following eighteen members:

The objectives of IORA are

  • 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 liberalisation, 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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Preferential Trade Agreement

At the first meeting of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) of IORA which was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in October 2001, Sri Lanka made a proposal to establish a Preferential Trading Agreement (PTA) for the IORA. Six member countries namely Iran, Kenya, Mauritius, Oman, Sri Lanka and Yemen have proposed to enter into a PTA. The greatest challenge would be how to reconcile IORA PTA with the trade regime of the existing Free Trade Areas (FTAs) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in the region. There is also the question of how to render the eventual IORA PTA compatible with the WTO in view of the fact that Iran, Yemen are not yet WTO members.

Rules of Procedure Charter

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