DR Ambedkar IAS Academy


What is IORA?

  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a dynamic inter-governmental organizationaimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 22 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners.
  • IORA members
  • It is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
  • IORA is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.
  • IORA’s apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) which meets annually to discuss the developments of IORA.
  • The United Arab Emirates is the current Chair of IORA form October 2019-2021. The Vice-Chair will be the People’s Republic of Bangladesh which would take Chair as from October 2021-2023.

Establishment: The Indian Ocean Rim Association is an inter-governmental organization which was established on 7 March 1997.


The vision for IORA originated during a visit by late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa to India in 1995, where he said:  “the natural urge of the facts of history and geography should broaden itself to include the concept of an Indian Ocean Rim for socio-economic co-operation…”  This sentiment and rationale underpinned the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in March 1995, and the creation of the Indian Ocean Rim Association(then known as the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation) two years later, in March 1997.


  • To promote sustainable growth and balanced development of the region and member states
  • To focus on those areas of economic cooperation which provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits
  • To promote liberalization, remove impediments and lower barriers towards a freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the Indian Ocean rim.

Priority areas

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has identified eight priority areas, namely:

  1. Maritime security,
  2. Trade and investment facilitation,
  3. Fisheries management,
  4. Disaster risk reduction,
  5. Academic and scientific cooperation and
  6. Tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.
  7. Blue Economy
  8. Women’s Economic Empowerment

The Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD)

  • (IOD is a flagship initiative of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), with its origins in the 13th Council of Ministers meeting, held in November 2013 in Perth, Australia.
  • The first IOD was held in Kerala, India in 2014, and has been followed by two others to date: in Perth, Australia in 2015 and Padang, Indonesia in 2016, respectively

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