A two-day conference, attended by ministers and officials of 31 countries, will begin in the capital today to discuss ways of best promoting sustainable development of blue economy among the nations bordering Indian Ocean.
The event, by Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) -- an inter-governmental organisation -- includes meeting of the committee of senior officials today, while a ministerial-level meeting will be held tomorrow.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the third ministerial conference titled “Promoting Sustainable Blue Economy -- making the best use of opportunities from the Indian Ocean” of IORA at the InterContinental Dhaka.
Foreign ministers from Australia, Iran, Sri Lanka, Comoros and Seychelles; state ministers for foreign affairs from Somalia and Thailand; minister for agriculture and fisheries from Kenya; minister for ocean economy from Mauritius; minister for marine resources from Maldives; and deputy minister for environment and forest from South Africa are going to participate in the conference.
IORA consists of 22 member states including Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sultanate of Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and UAE.
It has nine dialogue partners -- China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and USA.
“There will be a number of experts on blue economy. They will present various aspects of promoting cooperation among the IORA nations at the meeting of the officials. These will include fishing, shipping and mining,” said rear admiral (retd) Khurshed Alam, secretary (marine affairs unit) at the Bangladesh foreign ministry.
The recommendations will then be presented to the ministerial conference for endorsement. Based on that, the recommendations will be adopted as Dhaka declaration, he told The Daily Star yesterday.
The conference, being hosted by Bangladesh, is expected to illustrate the commitment of IORA member states to further strengthen and deepen cooperation on blue economy priority areas in the years ahead, he said.
According to an IORA statement, the main objectives would be to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities in the blue economy activities along the Indian Ocean belt.