KATHMANDU – On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of BIMSTEC, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stressed the importance of unity, solidarity, and cooperation among the Member States to promote economic partnership and address the challenges facing the region.
Extending greetings and best wishes to peoples and governments of the BIMSTEC Member States today, the Prime Minister said that the Organization must be enabled to realize the regional aspirations of peace, development, and prosperity.
In the context of the severe fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives, livelihoods, and economies, the urgency to speed up regional cooperation has never been so critical and the need to translate our commitment into action never so compelling, he stated.
Similarly, in a separate message, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Narayan Khadka called for necessary political will to reinvigorate the BIMSTEC process and make this year a momentous anniversary year, with a renewed resolve, concerted actions, and concrete outcomes.
He noted that the initiatives of institutional strengthening that started during the Fourth Summit held in Kathmandu in 2018 had culminated in the recent Fifth Summit held in Colombo. Foreign Minister Khadka also underscored the need to ensure the timely and effective implementation of the BIMSTEC agreements to realize the shared goals of peace and prosperity.
Expressing confidence that BIMSTEC would continue to make further strides in strengthening cooperation among the Member States, he reiterated Nepal’s commitment to contribute constructively to the regional process.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a multilateral regional organisation established with the aim of accelerating shared growth and cooperation between littoral and adjacent countries in the Bay of Bengal region.
BIMSTEC has a total of seven member countries- five from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.
It was founded as BIST-EC, in June 1997, with the adoption of the Bangkok Declaration, with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand as members. It became BIMST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation) with the entry of Myanmar in late 1997, and eventually, it was named in its current form, when Nepal and Bhutan became members in 2004.