To promote the sustained growth and balanced development of the region and of the Member States, and to create common ground for regional economic co-operation.
Six priority areas were identified at the 11th Council of Ministers', in Bengaluru:
(i) Maritime Safety & Security,
(ii) Trade & Investment Facilitation,
(iii) Fisheries Management,
(iv) Disaster Risk Management,
(V) Academic, Science & Technology,
(vi)Tourism & Cultural Exchanges