Kathmandu, 29 August : The 16th ministerial level meeting of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) has kicked off in the Capital.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, who is heading the meeting, inaugurated the meeting and welcomed his counterparts to the event.
"Connectivity is the enabler, energy is locomotive, technology is the accelerator, investment and trade is the driver of regional growth and prosperity for bringing socio-economic transformation. These factors should top the BIMSTEC agenda from now onwards," he took the moment to insist if we were to achieve regional growth and prosperity, we needed to deepen areas of cooperation.
According to him, rationalizing the priority areas and concentrating on core economic areas such as connectivity, trade, tourism, energy, and agriculture is important.
"BIMSTEC region shares history, geographical contiguity, great civilizations and has huge potentials. We can collectively contribute to realizing a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region," argued the Minister.
The meeting will see presentation of reports by the Secretary General of BIMSTEC and the reports of the Special and 19th Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM). Similarly, the meeting would be briefed on the preparations for the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit and it would finalize the BIMSTEC Convention/MoU ready for signature as well as the draft Kathmandu Declaration of the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit.
Moreover, is will adopt the report of the 16th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, Dr VK Singh, Union Minister of International Cooperation of Myanmar, Mr Kyaw Tin, Sri Lankan State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake, and Foreign Minister of Thailand, Don Pramudwinai, and Bhutanese Foreign Secretary, Sonam Tshong, will lead the delegations from their respective countries in the meeting.
Bhutan has delegated the pro tem authority to Foreign Secretary Tshong to participate in the Ministerial Meeting in the context of the announcement of general elections there.