India's annual trade volume with member countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) has shown an upward trend in recent years and touched $280 billon.
Addressing journalists after a day-long meeting with representatives of 18 member countries, Ravi Bangar, Joint Secretary, Multilateral Economic Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, said India's exports touched $120 billion while imports stood at $160 billion.
India on Wednesday officially assumed the chair of the IOR-ARC from Yemen for two years.
The meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum discussed a broad range of issues related to trade, investment, trade fairs, information technology, and small and medium enterprises. A business summit will be held next year to discuss maters related to trade and investment among member countries, Mr. Bangar said.
Manju Kalra Prakash, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI, said: “We have covered a lot of ground and member countries have shown a lot of enthusiasm to promote trade and investment.” A conference related to SMEs would be held in 2013 to discuss issues such as capacity-building and technology transformation.
On the occasion, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce brought out a book titled “India-IOR ARC Trade and Investment — A Brief Overview,” which mapped out India's trade with member countries. The Council of Ministers meeting will be held on November 15.