The creation of IOR-ARC has experienced steady progress, since its
inception in 1997. Its founding principles viz open regionalism,
unilateral Trade Liberalisation, Trade and Investment Facilitation
and Economic and Technical Cooperation has become a distinctive
feature of its establishment.
Since its launch, there has always
been a very high level of political commitment and there was
consensus on many fronts some of the notables' milestones are:-
- The Charter establishing the IOR-ARC was adopted in March
- A Headquarters Agreement between
IOR-ARC and the Government of Mauritius was also signed making
provision for the Secretariat to enter into contractual obligations
and enjoy the facilities, immunities and privileges that are
normally extended to international organisations.
- The IOR-ARC has now a large
constituency and it has grown into a big organisation with 20
Member States constituting between a quarter and a third of the
world's population (close to two billion) and produce goods and
services worth US$1 trillion (around 8 per cent the world
production), creating a large market in the world economy, 6
Dialogue Partner States and 2 Observers.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF MEMBER STATES
- During the last ten years or so, a
large number of the countries of the region have undertaken
economic reforms and adopted the liberalisation process, and the
scope of concessional assistance is showing a declining
- The growth performance of the
region and its sub-regions indicates that both exports and imports
have increased at a faster rate with developing countries as
compared to similar indices for the world as a whole. The IOR-ARC
region has not only shared the major segment of the total trade of
the IOR but grew at a rapid rate during the period 1988-94.
It has been noticed that a large number of countries have shown a
higher growth in the region itself than to the rest of the world.
In fact, the intra-regional trade accounts for one-fourth of its
total trade and the extent of intra-regional trade is increasing
over the last few years. In 1994, the amount of intra-regional
trade in the whole of the IOR was $233 billion and is now in the
region of $777 billion.
OUR FLAGSHIP PROJECTS
IOR-ARC has also been able to evolve its agenda to include
pressing regional priorities in three flagship projects namely
- The Maritime Transport Council (MTC)
- The Regional Centre for Science & Transfer of Technology
and the (RCSTT)
- Fisheries Support Unit (FSU)
These projects have tremendous potential for the Fisheries and
Maritime related industries, as well as the promotion and transfer
of Science & Technology in the region - all of which are
considered effective tools for the upliftment of our Member
- The establishment of a Maritime Transport Council for IOR-ARC
is now imminent and with the cooperation of Member States, it will
soon be functional.
- The Regional Centre for the
Transfer of Science & Technology, based inTehran, successfully
hosted several seminars and workshops over the last 2 years. The
Centre provides a wonderful opportunity for scientists in the
region to interact and share knowledge with their peers from Member
States. The more active participation of both our private sector
and the academic community in the programmes of the Centre, will be
a valuable contribution towards making this a leading Centre of
Excellence within our region.
- The adoption of an MOU for the
establishment of the Fisheries Support Unit in Sultanate of Oman
has paved the way for the operationalization of the Unit and will
shortly be followed by the signing of the Headquarters Agreement
between the Unit and the Government of the Sultanate of Oman.