Deputy Minister Ebrahim to undertake a two nations working visit to India and Sri-Lanka

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim I Ebrahim will undertake a working visit to the Republic of India and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri-Lanka to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation Council of Ministers Meeting (IOR-ARC) scheduled for 14-19 November 2011. 

The working visit takes place within the context of promoting the multilateral agenda with all member states so as to strengthen the 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 IOR-ARC is a multilateral organisation comprised of countries that share a shoreline along the Indian Ocean and was launched in March 1997 in Mauritius with a view to focus mainly on trade-related issues. The shared identity of a common historical experience of colonialism and imperialism also contributed to bringing together the leaders of states in the Indian Ocean region, basing regional co-operation on the past littoral economic, social and cultural communities as well as bridging a link between Africa, Asia and Australasia.

South Africa is one of the founding Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) which launched in Mauritius on 6-7 March 1997. There are 18 IOR-ARC Member States, i.e. Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The Seychelles announced its withdrawal from the Association in July 2003.

Accordingly, the 11th Indian Ocean Rim Association for regional cooperation Council meeting (IOR-ARC) will amongst others focus on the following:

  • 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 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.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim will be supported by Senior Government Officials from the Department of Trade and Industry as well as the Department of Transport. Deputy Minister Ebrahim is expected to return to the country on 20 November 2011.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for
DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria

11 November 2011

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