On 1st April 2021 External Affairs Minister(EAM), S. Jaishankar virtually addressed the 17th BIMSTEC (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Ministerial Meeting held Virtually from Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Meeting was chaired by Sri Lanka virtually. He highlighted the strategic importance of the master connectivity plan among the South and Southeast Asian countries.
BIMSTEC is group of 7 Asian countries,
- 5 South Asia Countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka
- 2 Southeast Asia Countries – Myanmar and Thailand.
i.S.Jaishankar highlighted the Master Transport connectivity plan among the BIMSTEC member countries, which is set to be finalised during the 5th BIMSTEC Leaders Summit.
ii.Free movement of People & Goods between BIMSTEC countries is proposed in the plan.
Note- Sri Lanka is the Current Chair of BIMSTEC; 5th BIMSTEC Leaders Summit will be hosted by Sri Lanka.
ii.3 agreements – BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, MoU on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States; and Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
iii.With 1/5th of the Global population & 3.8 Trillion dollar GDP, the connectivity project will enhance BIMSTEC countries contribution to the global GDP.
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2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 held at Bhubaneswar, Odisha; inaugurated by Naveen Patnaik.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) was set-up in 1997.
Headquarters– Dhaka, Bangladesh
Secretary General– H. E. Mr. Tenzin Lekphell