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इंडियन आवाज़     20 Aug 2017 07:24:40      انڈین آواز
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Sushma focuses on ‘Neighbourhood first’, ‘Act East’ at BIMSTEC meet

sushma bimstec

AMN / Kathmandu

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, BIMSTEC is a natural choice to fulfill India’s key foreign policy priorities of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’.

She said that BIMSTEC brings together like-minded countries with a common commitment for prosperity of its people representing one-fifth of world humanity. She said that BIMSTEC was one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

Addressing the working session of 15th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting, which began here today, Ms Swaraj said our region is vulnerable to a variety of disasters due to its geo-climatic conditions and to build regional capacities, India is hosting the first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in October 2017.

External affairs minister said that our region is vulnerable to a variety of disasters due to its geo-climatic conditions and to build regional capacities, India is hosting the first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise in October 2017.

She said that it will help us develop quicker, coordinated and comprehensive responses to disasters, and provide timely relief and rehabilitation. Emphasizing on tourism promotion she said that BIMSTEC specific tourism products, notably the Buddhist circuit, would allow tourists to experience our rich and shared civilizational heritage.

Mrs Swaraj also said that India has further liberalized its tourist e-visa norms, which makes it easier for foreign tourists to visit our neighbouring countries when they are on a trip to India. External affairs minister said that energy is considered the engine of economic development and she is very happy to note that cross-border exchange of power between India, Nepal, Bhutan & Bangladesh is on a rapid upswing.

She hoped that BIMSTEC MOU on Grid Interconnection, which has been finalized, would further facilitate regional energy trade. Mrs Swaraj also said that BIMSTEC has a combined GDP of over USD 2.85 trillion and work on BIMSTEC FTA, BIMSTEC Trade Facilitation Agreement and BIMSTEC Agreement on Mutual Assistance on Customs Matters would fasten trade and must be concluded at the earliest.

She said that to mark the 20th Anniversary, India is undertaking a wide range of initiatives, involving a number of institutions, industry associations, and think-tanks as stakeholders in BIMSTEC.

She said that Prime Minister Modi looks forward to attending the fourth Summit, as we work together to fulfill the aspirations of our people with an outcome-oriented and people-centric approach to regional cooperation.

After working session External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will have bilateral meetings with Bhutanese and Sri Lankan ministers. Various issues are likely to be discussed in the meeting. She will also attend a special programme “India@70” organised by Indian Embassy to mark 70 years of Independence.

She said that it will help us develop quicker, coordinated and comprehensive responses to disasters, and provide timely relief and rehabilitation. Emphasizing on tourism promotion, Mrs Swaraj said India has further liberalized its tourist e-visa norms, which makes it easier for foreign tourists to visit our neighbouring countries when they are on a trip to India. External affairs minister said, she is very happy to note that cross-border exchange of power between India, Nepal, Bhutan & Bangladesh is on a rapid upswing.

The Minister said that Prime Minister Modi looks forward to attending the fourth Summit, as we work together to fulfill the aspirations of our people with an outcome-oriented and people-centric approach to regional cooperation.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Foreign Minister of Bhutan Damcho Dorji and State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Wasantha Senanayake on sidelines of BIMSTEC meeting at Kathmandu this afternoon. Various bilateral issues were discussed during the meeting.

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