इंडियन आवाज़     13 Jul 2024 06:33:33      انڈین آواز

BIMSTEC Summit: PM Modi calls for making Bay of Bengal bridge of connectivity and prosperity

Staff Reporter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gave a clarion call of making Bay of Bengal the bridge of connectivity, prosperity, and security and stressed that regional cooperation has become a greater priority in the present scenario.

Attending BIMSTEC Summit virtually, the Prime Minister said recent developments in Europe have raised questions about the stability of the international order. He said it has become important to make BIMSTEC regional cooperation more active. He pointed out that the region has not remained untouched by today’s challenging global scenario.

Mr. Modi said BIMSTEC charter is being adopted to develop institution architecture for BIMSTEC group. This is the 25th year of the establishment of BIMSTEC. He said the outcome of this landmark summit will write a golden chapter in the history of BIMSTEC.

PM highlighted the importance of enhancing the capacity of the Secretariat for BIMSTEC to meet everyone’s expectations. He suggested that a roadmap should be made to achieve this goal. He said India will provide financial assistance of one million dollars to increase the operational budget of the Secretariat.

The Prime Minister said it is necessary to make early progress on the proposal of BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement to enhance trade. He said exchanges between entrepreneurs and startups of BIMSTEC countries should be increased. He further stated that international norms should be adopted in the field of Trade Facilitation.

Mr Modi along with other leaders also witnessed the signing of three BIMSTEC agreements which represent progress being achieved in ongoing cooperation activities. These are, BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, BIMSTEC Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation in the field of Diplomatic Training, and Memorandum of Association on Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility.

After the summit, in a tweet, Mr Modi said, he was happy to participate in the 5th BIMSTEC Summit hosted by Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister said, several important decisions were taken to further the BIMSTEC cooperation agenda. He commended the able leadership of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and extended his best wishes to the incoming chair Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Later briefing media, Additional Secretary (BIMSTEC) in Ministry of External Affairs Rudrendra Tandon said, the signing of the charter in Colombo has led to BIMSTEC being recognized as an international organization with an emblem, flag, formally listed principles to be adhered to, and an architecture. He said, it represents a fairly significant evolution of this grouping. Mr Tandon said, it was the main outcome of the summit. He said, BIMSTEC cooperation activities will take place in seven pillars and each pillar will be led by one member state. Mr. Tandon said, India will lead the security pillar. He said, adoption of master plan on transport connectivity was one of the major outcomes of the summit. He said, it was a major agenda in BIMSTEC platform for several years. The Additional Secretary (BIMSTEC) in Ministry of External Affairs said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address focused on developing BIMSTEC further and proposed the need to accelerate the work after signing the charter.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization. Established in 1997, it comprises seven member states- India Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.

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