Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation


Members = 7



BIMSTEC organizes inter-governmental interactions through

  •  Summits,
  •  Ministerial Meetings, 
  • Senior Officials Meetings and 
  • Expert Group Meetings and
  • through BIMSTEC Working Group (BWG) based in Bangkok. 

BIMSTEC is involved in 15 sectors including trade, technology, agriculture, tourism, fisheries, energy, and climate change among others, for sectoral cooperation.

Beginning of BIMSTEC 

This sub-territorial organization appeared in 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. 

Initially, it was shaped with four Member States with the abbreviation ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri-Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation). 

It got renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ in 1997, following the incorporation of Myanmar. 

With the confirmation of Nepal and Bhutan in 2004, the name of the gathering was changed to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

  • Extension among South and South East Asia and addresses support of relations among these nations. 
  • The stage for intra-local collaboration among SAARC and ASEAN individuals. 
  • Home to around 1.5 billion individuals that comprise around 22% of the worldwide populace. 
  • With a consolidated total national output (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economies, BIMSTEC Member States have had the option to support a normal 6.5% financial development direction over the most recent five years. 
  • A fourth of the world’s exchanged merchandise cross the inlet consistently. 

Significant Connectivity Projects: 

Kaladan Multimodal Project – joins India and Myanmar. 

Asian Trilateral Highway – interfacing India and Thailand through Myanmar. 

Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement – for consistent progression of traveller and freight traffic

Importance for India 

Permits India to seek after three center strategies: 

  • Neighborhood First – the power to the country’s prompt outskirts; 
  • Act East – interface India with Southeast Asia; and 
  • Monetary advancement of India’s northeastern states – by connecting them to the Bay of Bengal locale by means of Bangladesh and Myanmar. 

Permits India to counter China’s sneaking impact in nations around the Bay of Bengal because of the spread of its Belt and Road Initiative. 

Another platform for India to draw in with its neighbors with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) turning out to be broken due to contrasts between India and Pakistan.

17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on April 1, 2021

Fifth BIMSTEC Summit in Sri Lanka in next few months

External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar,

Chaired by – Sri Lanka, 

Mode- virtual

  •  Connectivity master plan for the Bay of Bengal region.
  • The connectivity master plan is the outcome of over a time of consultations among the part states. The study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007 and 2014, identified 166 connectivity projects at an estimated cost of USD 50 billion out of which 65 projects were identified as priority projects.

Memorandums for upcoming Fifth BIMSTEC Summit in Sri Lanka 

  • 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.

Earlier achievements 

  • the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate, being hosted in India,   is fully functional with state-of-the-art facilities to provide Disaster Early Warnings.
  • the BIMSTEC Startup Conclave 
  • BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in Puri in February 2020
  • BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in Puri in February 2020
  • the BIMSTEC Seminar on Climate Smart Farming Systems in New Delhi in December 2019;

Rohingya refugee crisis bitterness between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

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