Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is flying to Indonesia today to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Leaders' Summit to be held tomorrow.
The summit with the theme “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean” marks the 20th anniversary of IORA since its official inception in 1997.
The meeting would bring together the leaders of 21 IORA member states and its seven dialogue partners.
During her three-day visit, she would hold bilateral meetings with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said she would leave this morning and reach Jakarta in the afternoon.
Besides her official delegation that includes Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, a 60-member business delegation led by FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmad would also accompany the premier. A “Business Summit” is going to be held today with the aim of strengthening business cooperation in the region.
She would join the opening ceremony at the Jakarta Convention Centre tomorrow and also attend the opening session of the summit on “Adoption of the Agenda and Programme of Work”.
Hasina would also attend the general debate on “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean Rim” and deliver her statement at the event.
She is expected in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Diplomatic sources said IORA member states would sign the final IORA Concord, which aims to strengthen economic and strategic cooperation among the 21 countries around the Indian Ocean.
The IORA Concord also aims at addressing non-traditional issues like illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, human trafficking, drug trafficking, illegal migration and piracy.
The IORA initiating states are Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, South Africa, Singapore, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The seven dialogue partners are China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US.