SA attends meeting of Indian Ocean rim countries

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pretoria - South Africa is to attend the 11th Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation Council of Ministers Meeting (IOR-ARC) this week, where the formulation and implementation of projects for economic co-operation will be in the spotlight.

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will embark on a two-nation working visit to India and Sri-Lanka to attend the IOR-ARC.

The IOR-ARC is a multilateral organisation comprised of countries that share a shoreline along the Indian Ocean, launched in March 1997 in Mauritius with a view to focus on trade-related issues.

South Africa is one of the founding member states.

The Deputy Minister's six-day visit takes place within the context of promoting a multilateral agenda with all member states to strengthen sustained growth and balanced development as well as to encourage close interaction of trade and industry, academic institutions, scholars and the peoples of the member states.

The meeting will among other things focus on the:
- Economic co-operation which provides opportunities to develop shared interests and reap mutual benefits among member states.
- Formulation and implementation of projects for economic co-operation relating to trade facilitation and liberalisation, promotion of foreign investment, scientific and technological exchanges, tourism, movement of natural persons and service providers on a non-discriminatory basis; and the development of infrastructure and human resources inter-alia poverty alleviation.
- Exploring 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; and
- Strengthening co-operation and dialogue among Member States in international for a on global economic issues, and where desirable to develop shared strategies and take common positions in the international for a on issues of mutual interest.

Ebrahim will be supported by senior government officials from the Department of Trade and Industry as well as the Department of Transport.