This Week's Top Stories About BIMSTEC

The 17th meet of the regional grouping was held virtually on April 1. Formed through Bangkok Declaration in 1997. 7 members: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanks from South Asia and Myanmar and Thailand from Southeast Asia. All members lie in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. Aim: to create an enabling environment for rapid economic development; accelerate social progress; and promote collaboration on matters of common interest. Secretariat: Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and Southeast Asia, housing 1.5 billion people and having a combined gross domestic product of $3.5 trillion (2018). The BIMSTEC member states – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand – are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal. Fourteen priority sectors of cooperation have been identified and several BIMSTEC centres have been established to focus on those sectors. A BIMSTEC free trade agreement is under negotiation (c. 2018), also referred to as the mini SAARC. Leadership is rotated in alphabetical order of country names. The permanent secretariat is in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

On 6 June 1997, a new sub-regional grouping was formed in Bangkok under the name BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Following the inclusion of Myanmar on 22 December 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the Group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). In 1998, Nepal became an observer. In February 2004, Nepal and Bhutan become full members. On 31 July 2004, in the first Summit, the grouping was renamed as BIMSTEC or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation.

Objective : There are 14 main sectors of BIMSTEC along technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and southeast Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

  1. Trade & Investment
  2. Transport & Communication
  3. Energy
  4. Tourism
  5. Technology
  6. Fisheries
  7. Agriculture
  8. Public Health
  9. Poverty Alleviation
  10. Counter-Terrorism & Transnational Crime
  11. Environment & Disaster Management
  12. People-to-People Contact
  13. Cultural Cooperation
  14. Climate Change

Sectors 7 to 13 were added at the 8th Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka in 2005 while the 14th sector was added in the 11th Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi in 2008. Member nations are denoted as Lead Countries for each sector. Provides cooperation to one another for the provision of training and research facilities in educational vocational and technical fields Promote active collaboration and mutual assistance in economic, social, technical, and scientific fields of common interest Provide help to increase the socio-economic growth of the member countries.

Permanent Secretariat:  The BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat at Dhaka was opened in 2014 and India contributes 32% of its expenditure. The current Secretary-General of the BIMSTEC is Ambassador Tenzin Lekphell from Bhutan and the former Secretary-General was Mr. Shahidul Islam from Bangladesh. And First Secretary-General was Mr. Sumith Nakandala from Sri Lanka.

How many countries are in bimstec?

seven Member States It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.

Which country is the current chair of bimstec?

Sri Lanka: Significance of BIMSTEC for Sri Lanka in 2021,As the BIMSTEC Chairman, Sri Lanka is privileged to set the agenda at the 5th BIMSTEC Summit.15-Jan-2021

Why was bimstec formed?

It aims to accelerate economic growth and social progress among members across multiple sectors — trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries, agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people-to-people contact, and climate change.