Italy was welcomed with a broad consensus as Dialogue Partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), an important regional Organisation, at its Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting.
The ministerial meeting was held in Abu Dhabi and sanctioned the Emirati Presidency of the IORA, an Organisation established in 1997 in the follow-up of a State Visit by the then South African President, Nelson Mandela, to India to facilitate trade and investment flows among the Member States and to promote sustainable economic cooperation as well as several priority sectors: foster trade and investments; maritime security; managing fishing; disaster management; academic, scientific and technological cooperation; tourism and cultural exchanges.
The IORA membership includes Europe, Africa and Asia in a common field of action, thus becoming an ideal interlocutor in our Country’s vision of “Enlarged Mediterranean”. Indeed, the members of IORA include Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malesia, Mauritius, Somalia, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Yemen. The IORA’s other dialogue partners are China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States.
The IORA included Blue Economy among its priority sectors in 2014, and it has gained importance over the years. In consideration of Italy’s role in the Mediterranean and its traditional support for policies aiming to promote the Blue Economy and the activities linked to the maritime sector, shipping, fishing, blue technologies, coastal tourism and renewable energy sources, it expedited the procedure to obtain the status of Dialogue Partner of the Organisation last 27 March.