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IORA Holds Virtual Meeting to Discuss Trade and Investment

23 May 2023

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Jakarta/Canberra, 23 May 2023: The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held the 21st Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI) to exchange knowledge and stimulate discussions on trade and investment matters by IORA and regional experts. The virtual meeting was hosted by Australia. Mr Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Chair of Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum, gave the opening remarks.

The strategic discussion featured presentations from experts on how to create economic prosperity in the region through resilient and predictable supply chains. Dr Lili Yan Ing, Lead Advisor for Southeast Asia Region at the Economic Resource Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), shared insights on how to have resilient supply chains despite the widespread decoupling. She contrasted the statements made by leaders and ministers regarding resilient supply chains, sustainable developments, and inclusive growth, compared to the factual data that are evident of rising protectionism and the need to secure critical minerals. As outlined by Dr Ing, the way forward includes keeping neutral positions, pursuing plurilateral cooperation, diversifying sources and markets, and investing in human capital and digital technologies.

Other notable experts who attended the meeting were Mr Saif Uddin Ahammad, Joint Secretary in the Trade Support Measures Wing of the Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh, and Mr Tapan Mazumder, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce of India.

Following the presentations by the experts, a general discussion session addressed several issues, including trade and investment opportunities amidst supply chain issues. Australia, the meeting’s Chair, closed the strategic discussion session, which was then followed by the working session, which included WGTI work plans and future meetings.


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