The Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has nominated Bangladesh as the Vice Chairman of IORA for the period of 2019-21 and eventually as the Chairman for the period of 2021-23. During the Eighth Bi-annual Meeting of Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) of IORA held on 30-31 July 2018 in Durban, South Africa, the Head of Bangladesh Delegation Rear Admiral Md. Khurshed Alam, Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs flaggedthe proposal of Bangladesh to become the Vice Chair of IORA for 2019-21.All the Member States of IORA unanimously supported Bangladesh’s proposal.
This year’s CSO Meeting was hosted by the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the Chair of IORA. The Meeting was attended by delegations from its 21 Member States which included current Vice Chair UAE, Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Thailand and Singapore among others. The Meeting was also attended by 7 Dialogue Partners of the Association.
During the meeting, Ms. Parag, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Industries on behalf of the Bangladesh Government signed a MoU between Member States and IORA on the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
During the two-day long meeting, Bangladesh informed that the Pilot Project funded by IORA on “Exploration of economically important marine flora from the Bay of Bengal” has just been completed and the other IORA funded Pilot Project on “Introduction of Oyster Culture in Bangladesh” is being implemented by the Department of Fisheries of the Bangladesh.
Rear Admiral Md. Khurshed Alam, Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also informed the meeting about Bangladesh Government’sdecision to support the strengthening of the IORA Secretariat by providing the financial contribution of USD 5750.
Bangladesh also informed that Bangladesh would host the Third IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference in Dhaka on the first week of September 2019 which is going to be the first ever IORA Ministerial-level Conference to be organized by Bangladesh.