Fifth BIMSTEC Summit Adopts BIMSTEC Charter and Master Plan for Transport Connectivity
30 March 2022
The Fifth Summit of Heads of State/ Government of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) adopted the BIMSTEC Charter and the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity. The Summit was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 30 March 2022.
The BIMSTEC Charter defines the (i) BIMSTEC purposes and principles, (ii) legal personality, (iii) membership, (iv) organs, (v) immunities and privileges, (vi) decision making, (vii) dispute settlement, (viii) administrative and procedural matters, (ix) budget and financing, and (x) external relations, as well as provisions on entry into force of the charter, amendments, among others.
The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity indicates 267 projects for construction, expansion, and modernization of transport infrastructure. It involves an estimated cost of $124 billion to create a seamless multimodal transport system across the subregion to enhance mobility of goods and people. It identifies both hard and soft infrastructure in the BIMSTEC subregion. The comprehensive plan also includes necessary capacity building, transport access agreements, and the harmonization of rules, regulations, policies, and measures related to transport between and among BIMSTEC countries. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported the development of the Master Plan for Transport Connectivity through the technical assistance, “Support for BIMSTEC II.”
In addition, the following legal instruments were also signed at the Summit:
- BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
- Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/ Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States
- Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility in Colombo
Mr. Tenzin Lekphell, Secretary General of BIMSTEC, in his remarks also expressed hope that the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area negotiations would reach a conclusion to enable the BIMSTEC region to reap the full benefits of trade and seamless movement of goods and people.
Read the news release.