15th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Ministerial Meeting was held in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 11, 2017.
Highlights of 15th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC countries:
- The meeting was attended by foreign ministers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka and the deputy foreign ministers from Myanmar and Thailand.
- Union Minister of External Affairs, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj also attended this meeting. On the sidelines of this meeting, she held bilateral talks with her counterparts from other member countries.
- Speaking at the meeting, Ms. Swaraj mentioned that India will host the first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in October 2017, to build regional capacities.
- Progress and achievements in the 14 identified areas of cooperation was reviewed and ways to accelerate the cooperation under the BIMSTEC processes were discussed at the meeting.
- Besides, discussions were also held on appointment of the next secretary general, date and venue of the 16th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting.
About Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC):
- BIMSTEC is an international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia And South East Asia located along the coast of Bay of Bengal.
- Currently, BIMSTEC member countries include Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
- The group was formed in June 1997 with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh joined later.
- The main objective of BIMSTEC is technological and economic co-operation among member countries.
- 14 priority sectors have been identified as areas of cooperation among BIMSTEC member countries.
- Headquarters of BIMSTEC is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Currently Nepal holds the Chairmanship of BIMSTEC.
- BIMSTEC has a combined GDP of over USD 2.85 trillion.