GIS - 30 January, 2020: Mauritius is hosting the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)’s Experts Meeting to enhance Intra-Regional Trade and Investment which opened, this morning, at Holiday Inn, Mon Trésor in Plaine-Magnien. The two-day workshop is expected to examine barriers to trade and investment among IORA Member States and identify solutions in order to address them.
Delegates from twenty IORA Member States as well as five Dialogue partners attended the workshop which is an initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, in collaboration with the IORA Secretariat.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, recalled that at the 17th IORA Council of Ministers in 2017, Mauritius was appointed Coordinator of the Trade and Investment Facilitation, one of the eight priority areas of IORA for enhancing economic cooperation among Member States.
He highlighted that it is imperative to remove impediments and barriers to enhance flow of goods, services, investment and technology within the region as it is the cornerstone of achieving sustained growth and balanced development in the region. Today, he added, half of the world’s container ships, two thirds of the world’s oil shipment, more than 50% of the world’s maritime oil trade and, one third of bulk cargo traffic pass through the Indian Ocean.
Minister Bodha underlined the necessity of strengthening cooperation and dialogue among Member States to unleash and tap into the economic space of great potentials and opportunities of the Indian Ocean region for the entrepreneurs and business community.
According to Mr Bodha, the present IORA meeting offers a unique platform for high calibre professionals in the field of trade and investment to deliberate and come up with practical and well-defined recommendations on how to improve trade and investment within the IORA region.
In addition, the Minister pointed out that the world is at a crossroad where all economic fundamentals are being challenged, and climate change is redefining the way of doing business, mode of production and consumption patterns. Therefore, he stated that it is also important to consider strategies, initiatives and policies to promote good practices which are critical for sustainable development among Member States.
Speaking about the experts, Mr Bodha stated that they will explore the mechanisms for the enhancement of trade and investment in specific areas namely: trade facilitation, investment facilitation, Small and Medium Enterprises, women economic empowerment and investment in goods and services so as to come up with a Work Plan with clear objectives, allocation of responsibilities, identification of partners and resources, as well as a well defined time frame.
As for the representative of the Chair of the IORA, Mr Mohamed Naser A.Hamdani Alzaabi, he pointed out that the IORA meeting will enable Member States to share best practices and experiences to enhance trade and investment within the IORA region, which still faces various challenges. The workshop, he added, will help promote knowledge sharing on policies, programmes, initiatives and best practices that will help address barriers to trade and use existing initiatives and instruments to address them.
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