Geeska Afrika Online

Indian Ocean Countries Press Ahead With Business Travel Card Plan

Bali (HAN) October 28.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. A business travel card scheme proposed by Indonesia for countries bordering the Indian Ocean was high on the agenda of a regional meeting held in Bali on Tuesday (25/10), an official said.

Attended by senior officials from 21 member states of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), the meeting saw the countries support the scheme and its gradual implementation in the region.

The scheme could see business people travel visa-free through participating countries, a practice the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has offered for years.

On the sideline of Tuesday’s meeting, Desra Percaya, director general for Asia Pacific and African affairs at the Foreign Ministry, said member states must look further into the vissa plan, but the proposal “will imitate what APEC has been doing.”

“Maybe it could not be implemented directly in the entire region. But there has at least been an agreement there will ideally be an IORA business travel card. It will give easiness to people to run their business,” he told reporters.

Indonesia proposed the establishment of the scheme during an IORA business forum attended by its 21 member states two weeks ago. The country is chairing the association for the period of 2015 to 2017.

Tuesday’s meeting was part of a series of IORA meetings held in Nusa Dua this week to boost economic partnerships in the region. The event will conclude with a ministerial meeting on Thursday.

IORA member 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.




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