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Union of Comoros inducted into Indian Ocean Rim Association

Press Trust of India  |  Gurgaon 

The membership of the Comoros Islands, an archipelago of four islands and several islets located in the western Indian Ocean, was unanimously approved by the 19 members states of the IOR-ARC at its Ministerial meeting held here.

The archipelago is the result of volcanic action along a fissure in the seabed running west-northwest to east-southeast.

The total population of the Comoros Islands is estimated to be over 700,000 people.

Agriculture is the principal economic activity with crops grown both for domestic consumption and export.

Interestingly, the Comoros is one of the world's leading producer of the essence of ylang-ylang, an oil widely used in the perfume industry. The Islands were also the world's second-largest producer of vanilla.

Besides, the induction of Comoros, another important decision that will be taken at today's meeting here will be on the request of the US to be inducted as a dialogue partner.

At present, the dialogue partners of the grouping are China, Japan, UK, France and Egypt.

Since the grouping is of considerable economic and strategic importance, the US is keen to make its presence felt too.

The prominent members of the grouping are India, Australia, South Africa, Oman, UAE, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Kenya, Indonesia, Mauritius and Malaysia.

Indian Ocean is vital for the transportation of oil and conduct of other forms of global trade.

As far as India is concerned, over 97 per cent of its international trade by volume passes through it.

First Published: Fri, November 02 2012. 11:55 IST