Indian Ocean Rim countries seek stronger trade ties

Top level negotiations are underway among Indian Ocean Rim – Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) member countries, including Tanzania, towards the establishment of a common business travel card to facilitate trade among them.

The negotiations follow a proposal put forward by Australia at the IOR-Business Forum meeting held in Gurgaon, India, last year with the view to facilitate inter-regional trade by providing business travelers easy access to the IOR-ARC countries to enhance the participation in their respective economies.

This project has as its main objective the enhancement of business and trade facilitation between the IOR-ARC member states. The proposal is being considered due to the need expressed by business people to gain streamlined business visitor entry to the economies of the IORARC region for more expandable business opportunities in order to conduct trade and investment activities, to name but a few.

According to an IORARC statement copied to the ‘Daily News’ in Dar es Salaam, it is envisaged that a business person could obtain an “IOR-ARC travel card” which identifies the IOR-ARC Member States for which it could grant the person a visa “pre-clearance.”

The card may however have a validity period and could follow the same application procedures as a business visa application. According to the statement, fast and efficient travel for business people within the Indian Ocean Rim region will contribute to the promotion of trade facilitation and investment promotion.

To this end, the introduction of the IOR-ARC business travel card is an appropriate scheme with numerous benefits for the business people such as fast-tracking entry and exit and multiple short term entry at major IOR-ARC airports.
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