ABU DHABI, 7th November, 2019 (WAM) -- H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, held a reception and special dinner to honour ministers and heads of delegations participating in the meetings of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, IORA.
Sheikh Abdullah welcomed the meeting’s participants and highlighted the association’s key role in achieving the prosperity and sustainable development of its member states.
During the reception, all sides discussed their joint relations and ways of enhancing their overall cooperation.
The UAE officially assumed the association’s Chairship from 2019 to 2021 during the19th Ministerial Meeting of IORA Member States in Abu Dhabi.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will manage the UAE's Chairship of IORA over the next two years, and will work on developing an integrated working plan during presidency tenure.
The plan reflects the UAE's vision and highlights the strategic importance it attaches to the Indian Ocean, which is a major artery of global maritime trade. Countries bordering the Indian Ocean are promising markets for investment, trade and tourism, due to their combined population of around 2.25 billion people and their annual economic output of US$8.3 trillion.
The UAE accounts for around 20 percent of intra-IORA trade, which reflects its role in promoting regional cooperation and its importance to regional and international maritime security and safety.
The UAE began its Chairship of the Association under the theme of "Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean." It prioritises the association’s efforts to maintain maritime security and safety, facilitate trade, investment and tourism, and achieve women's economic empowerment and the blue economy.
The UAE joined the IORA in 1999 and took over its Chairship from South Africa for the next two years, with Bangladesh as Vice Chair.
IORA was established in 1997 to promote regional cooperation, prosperity and growth in the Indian Ocean.
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State.