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5th BIMSTEC Summit

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    5th Apr, 2022

Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently participated in the 5th BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit hosted in virtual mode by Sri Lanka, the current chair of BIMSTEC.

About

About 5th BIMSTEC Summit:

  • The Summit’s theme “Towards a Resilient Region, Prosperous Economies, Healthy People” captures the main current priorities of member states.
  • The main outcome of the Summit was the adoption and signing of the BIMSTEC Charter, which formalizes the grouping into an organization made up of members’ states that are littoral to, and dependent upon, the Bay of Bengal.
  • The Summit also saw considerable progress being achieved in the BIMSTEC connectivity agenda with the adoption of the ‘Master Plan for Transport Connectivity’ by Leaders which lays out a guidance framework for connectivity related activities in the region in the future.
  • Three BIMSTEC agreements were signed which represent progress being achieved in ongoing cooperation activities:
  1. BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters;
  2. BIMSTEC Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation in the field of Diplomatic Training and
  3. Memorandum of Association on Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility.

About BIMSTEC:

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional multilateral organisation.
  • Its members lie in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
  • Headquarter is situated in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Out of the 7 members,
    • Five are from South Asia –
      1. Bangladesh
      2. Bhutan
      3. India
      4. Nepal
      5. Sri Lanka
    • Two are from Southeast Asia –
      1. Myanmar
      2. Thailand


  • BIMSTEC not only connects South and Southeast Asia, but also the ecologies of the Great Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal.
  • It mainly aims to create an enabling environment for rapid economic development; accelerate social progress; and promote collaboration on matters of common interest in the region.
  • The ADB (Asian Development Bank) has become BIMSTEC's development partner since 2005, to undertake a study which is designed to help promote and improve transport infrastructure and logistic among the BIMSTEC countries. So far, ADB has already finished the project so called BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistic Study (BTILS).

How significant is BIMSTEC for India?

  • BIMSTEC provides a new platform for India to engage with its neighbours with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)becoming dysfunctional because of differences between India and Pakistan.
    • BIMSTEC allows India to pursue three core policies-
    • Neighbourhood First– primacy to the country’s immediate periphery;
    • Act East – connect India with Southeast Asia; and
    • Economic development of India’s north-eastern states – by linking them to the Bay of Bengal region via Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • Allows India to counter China’s creeping influence in countries around the Bay of Bengal due to the spread of its One Belt and One Road Initiative.
  • It is of utmost significance to India as it is a major support in implementing its Act East Policy and the development of its ambitious ‘Sagar Mala’ project.
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