Monday, June 8th, 2015 - ANTARA News Agency

JAKARTA, June 6, 2015 - (ACN Newswire) - The government of Padang, West Sumatra province, through the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) meeting, has expressed hope that Indonesia can restore its glory as the largest producer of spices.

"Through this IORA meeting, Indonesia can strive to make Padang a significant spices-producing city in the world to restore the country's glory as the largest producer of spices," Secretary of Padang Nasir Ahmad said at the Padang mayor's residence on Thursday.

Ahmad made the remarks while opening a discussion here on the city's readiness to face the IORA meeting, which will be followed by a number of countries.

Current members of the IORA are Australia, Bangladesh, the Comoro Islands, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

China, Egypt, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States are dialogue partners.

According to the secretary, Padang is a city of plantations, industry, fisheries, processing, transport, and warehousing for export. To that end, the Padang government's offices of industry, trade, mining and energy held a discussion featuring academicians and leaders of companies.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Relations Department of the University of Andalas held a national seminar on revitalizing Indonesia's chairmanship in the IORA for the 2015 to 2017 period, at the university's campus here on Thursday.

The seminar was organized to introduce the latest issues related to IORA to the public, Benjamin Carnadi, the director of interregional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and Africa, stated.

Participants included officials of the ministry, academicians, officials of the West Sumatra maritime affairs and fisheries office, and political science researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).

"The national seminar is part of activities to promote the maritime axis vision to the public and to intensify IORA's studies," he added.

Indonesia is the IORA chairman till 2017. In October, West Sumatra will host an IORA meeting, Head of the International Relations Department of the University of Andalas Apriwan affirmed.

The IORA aims to promote sustainable growth and balanced development in the region and the member states to create a common ground for regional economic cooperation. --Antara.

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