President Jacob Zuma has recently not only participated in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
Leaders’ Summit, in Jakarta, to which he was invited by Indonesian President Joko Widodo,
but also successfully conducted a state visit to Indonesia.
The IORA Leaders’ Summit, convened to celebrate the association’s 20th anniversary,
had the theme ‘Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean’.
South Africa cements its relationship with Indonesia INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS “The occasion has a special significance for South Africa because President Nelson Mandela was one of the pioneers of the IORA.
“He saw value in bringing us together for the socioeconomic development of the people of our region,” said President Zuma.
Besides being one of the founding members of the association, South Africa will also chair the IORA from the latter quarter of 2017, when it hosts the IORA Council of Ministers Meeting in Durban.
It will continue to chair the IORA until 2019.
“Major priorities for South Africa’s tenure as chair will be to focus on the blue (ocean) economy, implement the outcomes of the summit,
and build on the successive leadership of the association under previous chairs, such as India, Australia and Indonesia,” said President Zuma.
He emphasised that the IORA, comprising 21 member countries bordering the Indian Ocean and supported
by seven dialogue partners, remains significant as the foremost entity that brings together Africa,
the Middle East, Asia and Australasia, through the Indian Ocean.
“The Indian Ocean is strategically significant as its vast coastline holds two thirds of the world’s oil reserves,
carries half of the world’s container ships and one third of the bulk cargo traffic.
“It is a valuable resource and a main driver for the Indian Ocean rim economies and holds great potential for innovation,
job creation and sustainable socio-economic development,” the President confirmed.
IORA Leaders’ Summit The first business summit − IORA: Building Partnership for Sustainable and Equitable Economic Growth – was geared to promote greater economic cooperation.
President Zuma was invited to address the gathering of business leaders and chambers of commerce and industry,
where he stressed that IORA leaders have adopted the blue economy as a top priority for generating employment and ensuring sustainability in business and economic models.
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