14 October, 2016

What is BIMSTEC ?

In the modern era the impact of globalization can be seen in form of regional cooperation’s in order to promote the relations with neighboring countries and others countries of the world. India being one of the most prominent country in term of economy attracted whole world towards its market. Today world is looking towards china and India for the better cooperation and good relationship. In this sphere , involvement of India along with its neighboring countries (Pakistan free organization) has boost the India’s vision of look east policy. In this context we will talk about BIMSTEC an international organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia. These are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

BIMSTEC is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. BIMSTEC came into existence on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. Initially, economic bloc was formed with four Member States with the acronym 'BIST-EC' (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).On 22 December 1997  Myanmar and February 2004, Thailand was included to the group. BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.

The First Summit Meeting held in 2004 achieved milestone of signing  a Framework Agreement for a BIMSTEC Free Trade Area, the launch of the Visit BIMSTEC Year 2004-2005, a year-long Plan of Action on tourism, and the establishment of the BIMSTEC Center in Bangkok.

The 13th Ministerial Meeting also chaired by Myanmar, which was held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 22 January 2011. Nepal formally took over the new Chairmanship as on 4 March 2014. Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka became the first Secretary General of BIMSTEC. Fourth BIMSTEC Summit 2015 was held in Nepal.

Some of the  objectives of BIMSTEC are:

1.To create and promote healthy environment for economic development through cooperation in different sectors like trade, investment and industry etc.

2.To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, technical and scientific fields.

3.To cooperate in projects that can be dealt with most productively on a sub-regional basis and make best use of available synergies among BIMSTEC member countries.

4.BIMSTEC cooperation under Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime has been divided into 4 sub-groups with lead shepherds - Intelligence Sharing (Sri Lanka); Combating Financing of Terrorism (Thailand), Legal and Law Enforcement Issues (India) and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotics Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors (Myanmar).

Many more objectives are there on which BIMSTEC is working in order to improve and promote relations among members of BIMSTEC.

The founding principles of BIMSTEC are as follows:

1.Cooperation within BIMSTEC will be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, no-interference in internal affairs, peaceful co- existence and mutual benefit.


2.Cooperation within BIMSTEC will constitute an addition to and not be a substitute for bilateral, regional or multilateral cooperation involving the Member States.

Inviting BIMSTEC on the side line of annual BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in Goa on October 15-16 instead of SAARC has clearly placed a decision that relocates India’s ‘neighborhood first’ policy to its east. BIMSTEC is an opportunity for India to invest and invite southeastern countries to be a part of India’s development. BIMSTEC countries can also play a prominent role for the support of permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council. For India BIMSTEC is a game of gain along with its strategic position which connect east to west. India need to utilize the BIMSTEC in a strategical and beneficial manner for the development of India and the world.


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