RI President Joko Widodo Officially Opens IORA Summit 2017

Jakarta, IORA - President Joko Widodo has officially opened Indian Ocean Rim Association Business Summit held as part of IORA Summit 2017 on Monday (3/6) at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC).

The President arrived at JCC around 12:45 pm. In the occasion, he reiterated his desire to strengthen Indonesia as a maritime axis.

The region around the Indian Ocean is a vast area and is home for about 2.7 billion people. This region face many challenges. "However, my background as a businessman made me realize that we can turn challenges into opportunities," said the President.

Meanwhile, RI Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita in his speech said this event was attended by 314 participants came from countries such as China, Germany, Japan, France, the UK, and others.

Earlier, the Minister said to the media that IORA is a geopolitics and geoeconomics power that has not been adequately exploited. This region is the future of the world economy.

Today is the right momentum considering the fact that the economic growth of some IORA member states is high. Increased trade and investment activities in IORA can also further promote a  just and sustainable economic growth, as well as create new job opportunity.

Furthermore, the Trade Minister expressed that IORA intra-regional trade in 2015 reached USD777 billion, or increased by 300 percent compared to year 1994 which amounted to USD233 billion. In addition, the Indian Ocean represents 70 percent of world trade routes, including route for oil and gas distribution. In fact, more than half of the container ship and two-thirds of the oil tanker from around the world traverse through the region.

IORA member states are home to approximately 2.7 billion people or 35 percent of the world population. However, it only contributes to 12 percent of world market share, 10 percent of global GDP, and 13 percent of foreign investment destination (FDI).

In addition, 96 percent of intra-IORA commerce is controlled by six countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Australia, and South Africa. Some countries that have become an important interest of Indonesia government in terms of trade is Bangladesh, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Iran.

IORA Summit 2017 is held under the theme 'Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean'. The summit will be held the Jakarta Convention Center from 5 to 7 March, 2017.

IORA comprises of 21 member countries, namely Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. IORA is also supported by seven dialogue partners, namely the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Egypt, France, and China. (Dwi/Jul).