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Bangladesh fully committed to strengthen BIMSTEC- State Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam

  • Integrity Education, Delhi
  • 14, Mar 2022
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Bangladesh State Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam has said that Bangladesh is fully committed to strengthen BIMSTEC by all possible means. He expressed the hope that during the 5th summit to be held in Colombo on March 30, leaders will review the performance of BIMSTEC and chart out a plan to turn this regional forum into a much stronger platform of partnership in designated areas for creating synergy among member countries. 

Speaking virtually at a programme organised by the South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM) on Friday, Shahriar Alam said that after 25 years of its establishment BIMSTEC is expected to get its charter during the 5th Summit in Colombo. At least four legal instruments are expected to be concluded during the summit raising the number of essential legal documents to 13. These documents are fundamental to the functioning of the BIMSTEC, said the Minister. 

Speaking about the important issues before the BIMSTEC, Shahriar Alam urged the implementation of the Free Trade Area as a much needed element of regional cooperation. He said that though the Framework Agreement on the FTA was signed in 2004, the implementation has not been done due to lack of progress in the finalisation of the six constituent legal instruments. 

The State Minister said that two important documents namely the 'Constituent Agreement on Trade in Goods' and the 'Text on BIMSTEC Rules of Origin' are almost at the final stage. These two documents are fundamental to start operation of FTA, said the Minister. 

The summit is also expected to adopt the long awaited BIMSTEC transport connectivity Master plan which will provide impetus to the implementation of the multimodal connectivity projects for regional integration, said Shahrirar Alam. 

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organisation. Established in 1997, it comprises seven member states Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.

Sources : News on AIR