BIMSTEC ministers resolve to focus on implementation
Kathmandu, 30 August (2018) – The BIMSTEC Ministers have resolved to take more vigorous steps for more focused implementation of the activities of the organization, while appreciating the progress achieved by the regional organisation in the past. They also felt the need for rationalization of priority areas and focusing on core economic sectors to make the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or BIMSTEC more effective, result-oriented and to enhance its visibility.
The 16th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held here today on the eve of the 4th BIMSTEC Summit starting in the capital tomorrow reviewed the whole gamut of cooperation under the BIMSTEC and decided to further consolidate regional cooperation process. The Ministers reiterated their commitments to make BIMSTEC process more effective and result oriented.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministers endorsed the text of draft Summit Declaration and recommended that to the Leaders of the BIMSTEC Member States for approval. They also expressed their readiness to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection.
As per the BIMSTEC practice, the Foreign Minister of Nepal handed over the Chairmanship of the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting to the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. The 17th Ministerial Meeting will be held in Sri Lanka.
The Meeting also discussed the status of progress and achievement in the fourteen areas of cooperation under BIMSTEC, while stressing for the early operationalization of the established mechanisms and BIMSTEC Centers.
The meeting considered the report of the Secretary General of BIMSTEC.
The Ministerial Meeting was preceded by the Nineteenth Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting which was held yesterday. The Meeting today was attended by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, the Foreign Secretary of Bhutan, the Minister of State for External Affairs of India, the Union Minister for International Cooperation of Myanmar and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Foreign Minister of Thailand.
In his opening remarks, chair of the meeting, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali stressed on the need to deepen rather than proliferate areas of cooperation and called for rationalizing the priority areas and focus on connectivity, trade, tourism, energy, and agriculture.
The Foreign Minister also called for early conclusion of negotiations under the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement, while expressing satisfaction that a master-plan on transport connectivity is being developed, MOU on grid interconnections will be signed, and called for defeating terrorism and combat other transnational crimes.