SME Times News Bureau | 20 Aug, 2018
Ahead of the 4th BIMSTEC
Summit to be held in Kathmandu (Nepal) on August 30-31, 2018, Heads of Missions
of BIMSTEC member countries on Monday underlined the need for conclusion of
negotiations for a BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement and trade facilitation
Speaking at a
meeting today on 'Fourth BIMSTEC Summit: Expectations, Challenges and
Opportunities', organised by FICCI, the Heads of Missions
expressed disappointment that 13 years after the framework agreement was
finalised, FTA was still being negotiated. They felt that the time was ripe for
BIMSTEC leaders to give unequivocal directives to facilitate conclusion
The panelists shared
their vision for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical
and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) as a catalyst for regional economic
development over the next twenty years. The BIMSTEC member
nations are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and
The unanimous view
of the BIMSTEC envoys was that out of the 14 identified priority sectors
of cooperation, there was a need to focus on select areas such as connectivity,
energy, trade, investment, climate change and counter-terrorism measures.
This, they said,
would give visibility to the regional grouping and make it a meaningful platform
for prosperity in the region.
The heads of BIMSTEC
missions called for people-oriented decisions based on regional connectivity
and economic integration.
Piyush Srivastava, Joint
Secretary BIMSTEC & SAARC, Ministry of External Affairs, GoI expressed
the hope that the Nepal Summit of BIMSTEC leaders would give a further impetus
to people's expectation of bettering their lives in the region.
He laid stress on
cooperation in the areas of security, disaster management, tourism, trade and