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Indian Ocean Rim Association


In recent years, the Indian Ocean has attracted a lot of attention. It has now become the epicentre of global political squabbles, and its proximity to major countries and continents further adds to its significance. The Indian Ocean, as the world's third-largest ocean tied connected by trade routes, commands control of major sea lanes transporting half of the world's container ships, one-third of the world's bulk cargo traffic, and two-thirds of the world's oil exports.

Nearly 2.7 billion people live in countries along the coasts of the ocean, resulting in a wide variety of languages, religions, customs, arts, and cuisines in these countries.

They differ greatly in terms of their size, population, and economic development.

Additionally, they can be subdivided into a variety of subregions (Australasia; Southeast Asia; South Asia; West Asia; and Eastern and Southern Africa), each having its own regional groupings (such as ASEAN, SAARC, GCC and SADC, to name a few). The Indian Ocean ties these countries together, despite their vast contrasts in culture and geography.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association was formed in 1997 with the goal of enhancing regional collaboration and promoting long-term development in the Indian Ocean region. Currently, it has 23 member states. The IORA is a tripartite regional forum that brings together representatives from government, business, and academia to promote collaboration and closer connection. It is founded on the ideas of open regionalism in order to increase economic cooperation, notably in the areas of trade facilitation and investment, as well as regional promotion and social development.

Members of Indian Ocean Rim Association

Commonwealth of Australia

People's Republic of Bangladesh

Union of Comoros

French Republic

Republic of India

Rebublic of Indonesia

Islamic Republic of Iran

Republic of Kenya

Republic of Madagascar


Republic of Maldives

Republic of Mauritius

Republic of Mozambique

Sultanate of Oman

Republic of Seychelles

Republic of Singapore

Federal Republic of Somalia

Republic of South Africa

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

United Republic of Tanzania

Kingdom of Thailand

United Arab Emirates

Republic Of Yemen


The objectives of the Association are as follows

  • To promote the sustained growth and balanced development of the region and of the Member States, and to create common ground for regional economic co-operation.

  • To focus on those areas of economic co-operation which provide maximum opportunities to develop shared interests and reap mutual benefits.

  • To explore all possibilities and avenues for trade liberalisation, to remove impediments to, and lower barriers towards, freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the region.

  • To encourage close interaction of trade and industry, academic institutions, scholars and the peoples of the Member States without any discrimination among the Member States and without prejudice to obligations under other regional economic and trade co-operation arrangements.

  • To strengthen co-operation and dialogue among the Member States in international fora on global economic issues, and where desirable to develop shared strategies and take common positions in the international fora on issues of mutual interest; and

  • To promote co-operation in the development of human resources, particularly through closer linkages among training institutions, universities and other specialised institutions of the Member States.


The existence of IORA serves as a reminder of the Indian Ocean regionalism's unfulfilled potential. Today, the IORA emphasises the region's ability to shape its own future. Additionally, India's expanding seaborne trade and a historic power shift in the Indian Ocean oblige Delhi to prioritise establishing a sustainable regional order in the wide littoral.


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