Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (March 30) will attend the 5th BIMSTEC Summit, which is being held in virtual mode. The summit is being hosted by Sri Lanka, the current BIMSTEC chair.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (March 30) will attend the 5th BIMSTEC Summit, which is being held in virtual mode. The summit is being hosted by Sri Lanka, the current BIMSTEC chair.
To prepare for the Summit, meetings of BIMSTEC Senior Officials (SOM) took place on March 28 followed by meetings of the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers (BMM) on March 29. The leaders are also expected to discuss the establishment of basic institutional structures and mechanisms for the group.
“The Covid pandemic related challenges, and the uncertainties within the international system that all BIMSTEC members are facing, imparts greater urgency to the goal of taking BIMSTEC technical and economic cooperation to the next level. This is expected to be the main subject of deliberations by Leaders at the Summit,” the Ministry of External (MEA) said in a press release.
External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar, who on Monday concluded a “productive and congenial” BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting, tweeted, “Thank you FM Prof GL Peiris for the excellent arrangements.”
Jaishankar participated in the 18th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in Colombo and emphasized the grouping`s commitment to intensify and expand areas of cooperation especially connectivity, energy and maritime ties among the member countries.
What is BIMSTEC?
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional multilateral organisation comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. The members include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.
Through the Bangkok Declaration, this sub-regional organization came into being on June 6, 1997. Initially, the economic bloc was formed with four member states with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Following the inclusion of Myanmar on December 22, 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the Group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan at the 6th ministerial meeting in February 2004, Thailand, the name of the group was changed to ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), according to information available on the BIMSTEC’s official website.