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Ahead of BIMSTEC Summit meeting, Heads of Missions call for conclusion of FTA negotiations, trade facilitation measures 

Aug 20, 2018


FICCI recommends 10-point action agenda for rejuvenating BIMSTEC 

NEW DELHI, 20 August 2018.  Ahead of the 4th BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Kathmandu (Nepal) on August 30-31, 2018, Heads of Missions of BIMSTEC member countries here underlined the need for conclusion of negotiations for a BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement and trade facilitation measures.

Speaking at a meeting today on 'Fourth BIMSTEC Summit: Expectations, Challenges and Opportunities', organised by FICCI, the  Heads of Missions expressed disappointment that 13 years after the framework agreement was finalised, FTA was still being negotiated. They felt that the time was ripe for BIMSTEC leaders to give unequivocal directives to facilitate  conclusion of FTA.

The panelists shared their vision for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) as a catalyst for regional economic development over the next twenty years. The BIMSTEC member nations are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal.

The panelists were Mrs. Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner, Sri Lankan High Commission; Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador, Embassy of Thailand; Mr. Syed Muazzem Ali, High Commissioner, Bangladesh High Commission; Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador, Embassy of Myanmar; and Mr. Jambay Yeshi, Economic Counsellor, Embassy of Bhutan.  The meeting also heard the views of Mr. Piyush Srivastava, Joint Secretary BIMSTEC & SAARC, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, whose message was read out in absentia.


The unanimous view of the BIMSTEC envoys was that out of the 14 identified priority sectors of cooperation, there was a need to focus on select areas such as connectivity, energy, trade, investment, climate change and counter-terrorism measures. This, they said, would give visibility to the regional grouping and make it a meaningful platform for prosperity in the region.


The heads of BIMSTEC missions called for people-oriented decisions based on regional connectivity and economic integration.


Mr. Piyush SrivastavaJoint Secretary BIMSTEC & SAARC, Ministry of External Affairs, GoI expressed the hope that the Nepal Summit of BIMSTEC leaders would give a further impetus to people's expectation of bettering their lives in the region . He laid stress on cooperation in the areas of security, disaster management, tourism, trade and public health.


FICCI recommends 10-point action agenda for rejuvenating BIMSTEC

On the occasion, a Knowledge Paper prepared by FICCI's  Core Group of expertswas released. The paper makes several policy recommendations for a thoroughrenewal and rejuvenation of BIMSTEC as the premier regional grouping,committed to securing greater cooperation and integration in the next decade.


The FICCI paper states that BIMSTEC needs strategic thrusts in select priority sectors if it is keen to emerge as a   result-oriented, effective and influential institution. This macro goal will be achieved by concluding negotiations for FTA agreements and trade facilitation, strengthening infrastructure linkages, deepening regional transport connectivity, facilitating cross-border trade and investment, and tourism, enhancing private sector participation and competitiveness, supporting regional power trading, developing human resources through mutual cooperation, Protecting environment and promoting sustainable use of shared natural resources, creating the Bay of Bengal Community (BoBC) and, promoting all-round cooperation in 'soft power' areas.

Policy Recommendations for a New BIMSTEC

FICCI MEDIA DIVISION


Reinvigorating BIMSTEC an Industry Vision for the Next Decade

Reinvigorating BIMSTEC an Industry Vision for the Next Decade

   

 

 

 

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