We have played leading role in Asia and the Pacific."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said there will be a business meeting as part of a summit conference of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) here from March 5 to 7, 2017.

"Until today 477 delegates have been registered to attend the summit conference and there will be a business summit," Retno told reporters in a news conference together with Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung and State Secretary Pratikno at the state palace here on Thursday.

Retno said the IORA summit meeting will take place on March 7, preceded by a senior official meeting on March 5 and foreign ministerial meeting on March 6.

"The IORA summit meeting would be participated in by 21 member countries and seven dialog partners. Four of the 21 member countries are members of the G-20 and six of the 7 dialog partners are also members of the G-20," she said.

Based on the composition of countries grouped in IORA, half of them are members of the G-20, she added.

She said the IORA Summit Meeting is one of important forums to guarantee security in the Indian Ocean region. The forum is also important to push up development of the regional economies.

The Indian Ocean rim countries have a population of 2.7 billion It is regular routes for "half of the worlds container ships, one third of world cargo vessels and two third of world energy shipments," she cited.

She said Indonesia offers to host the IORA Summit Meeting as the country wants to show its leadership in the Indian Ocean Rim.

"This is part of a series of leadership Indonesia wants to play in various regions. We have played leading role in Asia and the Pacific. We also want to show leadership in the Indian Ocean rim, where there has been no good governance. Indonesia, therefore wants to show it leadership in this summit meeting," she said.

She said there are six IORA priority agenda -- maritime security and safety, trade and investment facilities, disaster risk management, fishery management, academy and science and technology and tourism and exchange of cultures.

"Cross cutting issue is women empowerment and blue economy," she added.

She said she believe attendance of state leaders in the IORA Summit Meeting is more than expectation.

"Today, those confirming attendance are Prime Ministers and Presidents of 16 countries including South African President, Australian Prime Minister, Prime Ministers and Vice Presidents of India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka," she said.

State Secretary Pratikno said IORA was established in 1997, but only in 2017 it would has a summit meeting.

"It would be the first summit meeting of IORA and it is on the initiative of Indonesia as we want to be a world maritime axis," he said.

He said the government has prepared everything to welcome the delegates, security and accommodation for the foreign country leaders.

"We want to show our leadership not only in the Pacific but also in the Indian Ocean," he said.

Meanwhile, Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa of the Foreign Ministry Desra Percaya said the Business Summit would be participated in by around 250 business leaders from the member countries.

The theme of the Business Summit is "Building Partnership for Sustainable and Equitable Economic Growth".

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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