BIMSTEC Secretariat Inaugurated in Dhaka

13 September 2014

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Secretariat headquarters was formally opened on 13 September 2014 in Dhaka, Bangladesh with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leading the inaugural ceremonies.

BIMSTEC Crucial to the Region 
During the inauguration, Prime Minister Hasina noted that the BIMSTEC Secretariat ushers in a new era of cooperation among its member states.

An alliance of countries that includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—which brings together over one fifth of the world’s population with a combined GDP of under $2.7 trillion US dollars—BIMSTEC plays a key role in alleviating poverty and achieving economic progress by letting member nations cooperate in facing challenges. Prime Minister Hasina further expressed hope that the Secretariat will play its rightful role in implementing BIMSTEC programs and projects, as well as bring in new ideas and initiatives for cooperation in the region.

Six areas of priority were also outlined in her speech:

  • Poverty alleviation
  • Cooperation in agriculture sector
  • Implementation of the Framework Agreement on BIMSTEC Free Trade Area
  • Improvement of regional connectivity through implementation of recommendations in the BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study Report
  • Cooperation in the energy sector
  • Joint and coordinated efforts toward confronting climate change

Stressing the need to work together to achieve progress, Prime Minister Hasina said “The success of BIMSTEC is very much important for the overall development and progress of this region.”

BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study (BTILS) Support

BTILS aims to enhance inter-regional integration among BIMSTEC member countries by encouraging trade and travel through making the movement of goods and people more efficient. The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program supports BIMSTEC in implementing BTILS through identification of main transport and logistics constraints under a technical assistance program financed by the Asian Development Bank.

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