FICCI, jointly with Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Secretariat organised two events in New Delhi to deepen engagement with Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
- IORA Workshop on ‘Womens’ Entrepreneurship and Skill Development’ on 27th September 2017
- IORA Innovation Exposition – Crafting a Blueprint for Shared and Sustainable Growth through Innovation” from 28-29 September, 2017 in New Delhi, India
The Workshop on Womens’ Entrepreneurship and Skill Development addressed a diverse audience of entrepreneurs, small scale industry representatives and institutions promoting entrepreneurial ventures from IORA member states. This is the first in a series of interactions planned by FICCI to bring women entrepreneurs from IORA together and create a sustainable ecosystem for developing womens’ entrepreneurship in the region.
Innovation Exposition – Crafting a Blueprint for Shared and Sustainable Growth through Innovation aimed at sharing expertise and innovations; exploring cross-country partnership opportunities; building common networking platform, and capacity building modules for mutual benefit of IORA member states including startups and social innovation – both of which are highly relevant for development in the region.
Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, Hon’ble Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Government of Mauritius addressed the inaugural sessions of both the programmes.
JS (IOR) Mr Sanjay Panda, who is key to putting together Government of India’s initiatives with IORA said: “India is proud to partner IORA in taking forward two of its flagship initiatives – on “women” and “innovation”. These back-to-back events in New Delhi address two important areas of concern for the IORA member states striving to attain their SDG commitments. Thematic linkage between the two events is particularly striking. Empowering women and embracing innovation are indeed important drivers of our socio-economic transformation.”
Sharing his thoughts on the initiatives, Mr. Pankaj Patel, President – FICCI said, “empowerment of women through entrepreneurship and innovation are two important areas of regional collaboration within IORA. This is the beginning of a series of workshops and programmes that FICCI would undertake over the next few years to foster capacity building and business engagement. The participation of women in the economy is a robust indicator of holistic and inclusive development”
In a message, Secretary General IORA, Ambassador K V Bhagirath said “There is no better sustainable development than advancing women’s economic empowerment. Women hold the key to prosperity and IORA is committed to advancing women’s participation in the regional economy at all levels. As the apex regional organisation in the Indian Ocean, IORA has a significant role to play in supporting regional efforts to promote innovation which drives productivity and economic growth. Enhancing trade, investment and innovation are key missions of IORA to achieve sustainable development growth and economic prosperity in the region. Events such as the IORA Innovation Exposition enable IORA to promote business networking and fostering conductive environments for business in the Indian Ocean Rim for a sustainable and inclusive future for all.
IORA Member States are working together to harness the power of innovation to overcome economic challenges and drive sustainable development.”
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is the inter-governmental forum linking 21 Member States bordering the Indian Ocean and its 7 Dialogue Partners with a Secretariat based in Mauritius. Indonesia is the current Chair and South Africa will become the Chair in October 2017. The region is home to about two billion people spanning three continents and plays a significant role in international trade and commerce, with regional GDP of around USD 9 trillion.
IORA’s objectives are to facilitate regional cooperation including trade and investment and to promote sustainable economic cooperation around the Indian Ocean Rim. Foreign Ministers meet annually, along with businesses, academics and key stakeholders, to strengthen regional cooperation and implement capacity building projects. There are six priority areas with a strong focus on the Blue Economy and Women’s Economic Empowerment, which are: Maritime Safety and Security; Disaster Risk Management; Trade and Investment Facilitation; Academic, Science and Technology; Fisheries Management; and Tourism and Cultural Exchanges.
India and IORA
Engagement with the Indian Ocean Region on issues of security, commerce, and connectivity has been one of the priorities of India’s foreign policy. There is a strong economic justification as well since the region is home to about two billion people spanning three continents and plays a significant role in international trade and commerce, with regional GDP of around USD 9 trillion.
The economic agenda has been promoted over the past 20 years through The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) – an inter-governmental forum linking 21 Member States bordering the Indian Ocean and its 7 Dialogue Partners with a Secretariat based in Mauritius. FICCI is the Business Secretariat of IORA in India.
As one of the founding members, India has played a significant role in promoting the agenda of economic development and business engagement with the region.