Saturday, 15 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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BIMSTEC to redefine its future

Published : Monday, 11 March, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 499


 The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), founded in 1997, is an inter-governmental regional organisation in which Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was a founding member. Dhaka is home to the BIMSTEC Secretariat which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Hasina in 2014. Under the Prime Ministers leadership, Bangladesh has undertaken the task of building a new office space to house the BIMSTEC Secretariat within the next three years, during Bangladeshs Chairmanship of BIMSTEC following the completion of Thailands Chairmanship at the 6th Summit scheduled to be held this year.

 The BIMSTEC member States located around and adjacent to the Bay of Bengal (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) comprise approximately 22 per cent of the global population, which is larger than the population of ASEAN (679.67 million) and EU (448.4 million) combined and have a combined GDP of USD 4.5 trillion.
 Considering this fact as well as the strategic location of the BIMSTEC States in the Indian Ocean, the BIMSTEC region undoubtedly assumes high importance for realising the goals of global security and development, and the 2030 Agenda. This makes BIMSTEC a valuable platform for the international community in working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.     

 BIMSTEC, having adopted its Charter during the 5th Summit held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 30 March 2022, has now constituted an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) to deliberate and provide recommendations on future directions of BIMSTEC. The group comprising members from all BIMSTEC member States held its first meeting in Dhaka on 25 January 2024, and is scheduled to hold its second meeting in Dhaka from 11-12 March 2024. The EPG has been mandated to develop an outcome-oriented BIMSTEC 2030 Agenda; examine BIMSTEC activities in all areas of its cooperation; undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of the existing BIMSTEC institutional framework; and come up with practical recommendations, which will serve as guidelines to effectively steer BIMSTEC forward, aimed at enabling the building of a prosperous, resilient and open Bay of Bengal region. The EPG is expected to submit its recommendations to the next BIMSTEC Summit.

 The EPG comprises Dr Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum from Thailand, Chair of the EPG, Md Abdul Hannan from Bangladesh, Kinga Singye from Bhutan, Amar Sinha from India, San Lwin from Myanmar, Durga Prasad Bhattarai from Nepal and Esala Ruwan Weerakoon from Sri Lanka.






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