The Union of Comoros has been admitted at the 20th member of the Indian Ocean Association for Regional Cooperation while the US has been admitted as the 6th Dialogue Partner of IORARC.
This is stated in a communique issued at the end of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation here on Friday.
IOR-ARC directed the Working Group on Trade and Investment to explore the potential of cooperation in the ports and habour infrastructure sector, including investment in and upgradation of shipping infrastructure and logistic chains in the region.
This would act as an economic multiplier, facilitating growth in individual Rim economies. The communique added that the connectivity provided by the Indian Ocean has played an important part in our shared history and will continue to shape our collective destiny.
Enhanced connectivity can have a catalytic effect on economic integration by drastically reducing the
costs of doing business, and we must find ways of enhancing regional connectivity to realise the full potential of economic cooperation in our region.
As several member-states have experienced rapid economic growth and IORARC should consider ways to utilise this potential the Grouping has also directed the Working Group on Trade and Investment to take initiatives on Customs harmonisation and Trade Policy forward.
Keywords: Indian Ocean nations, Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation, non-tariff barriers affecting regional trade, India, South Africa, Singapore, the UAE, Oman, Iran and Australia, IOR-ARC