Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with the Prime Ministers of other countries participating in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit, met Nepal President Bindhya Devi Bhandari on Thursday. This is PM Modi’s fourth visit to Nepal during his current tenure.
Let’s take a look at what this summit is about. Important facts to know!
BIMSTEC is an international organisation of seven countriesof South-Asia and South-East Asia situated near the Bay of Bengal.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising of seven member states in South Asia and Southeast Asia lying in littoral and adjacent areas of Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
When was BIMSTEC established?
This sub-regional organisation came into being on June 6, 1997, through the Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Which countries are members of BIMSTEC Summit?
It comprises of seven member countries: five deriving from South Asia — including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka — and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.
Main objectives of BIMSTEC
BIMSTEC was created with the aim of increasing socio-economic cooperation in the areas of technology, transport and communications, energy, tourism, agriculture, fisheries and human resources development. In addition to this, BIMSTEC also worked to strengthen cooperation in areas of trade and investment.
Technological and economic cooperation among South Asian and Southeast Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal is its main objective.
India’s contribution to BIMSTEC
India is the lead country for cooperation in four priority areas: counter-terrorism and transnational crime, transport and communication, tourism and environment as well as disaster management.
Theme of BIMSTEC Summit 2018
The theme of the fourth BIMSTEC summit is ‘Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region’.
Counterterrorism, grid connectivity on BIMSTEC agenda: Indian envoy
“BIMSTEC has a number of things, which are work in progress and among them are areas in the direction of a possible agreement which is being worked on and it will remain in work and progress.
The area of trade, customs facilitation, grid connectivity and counter-terrorism, so there is the number of areas which they are looking for but the fact is the summit is happening- it will also chart a way for an organisation which is invigorated and which will really take things forward. So, I think it’s going to be an important summit and India’s participation in this is certainly very crucial.
We are the founding member of BIMSTEC and a very important stakeholder in this entire process.” the ambassador told ANI.
Why the meeting is important for South Asia and neighbouring regions?
The growing lack of trust among the member countries of SAARC, especially India and Pakistan, has been a key reason for India looking at alternative platforms for regional cooperation.
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