BIMSTEC to Finalize Motors Vehicle and Coastal Shipping Agreements Soon
15 September 2017
At the sidelines of BIMSTEC Expo 2017, on 15 September 2017 in Kolkata, India, Mr. Prashant Agrawal, Indian Ministry of External Affairs' Joint Secretary, Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), said BIMSTEC nations are likely to finalize motor vehicle and coastal shipping agreements soon. He noted that all the frameworks on a coastal shipping framework are being negotiated with the expectation they will be completed in the coming months.
BIMSTEC member countries—comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—are negotiating framework agreements in regional cooperation in 14 areas, including trade, transport, energy, climate change, and poverty alleviation. The Joint secretary noted that the framework for the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement was already in place but specific schedules are to be finalized, and that the trade negotiating committee has been meeting to finalize schedules on goods and services.