Compiled features on recent developments in regional cooperation and integration in the SASEC region.


September 2017
BIMSTEC to Finalize Motors Vehicle and Coastal Shipping Agreements Soon

Mr. Prashant Agrawal, Indian Ministry of External Affairs' Joint Secretary, BIMSTEC and SAARC, said BIMSTEC countries are likely to finalize motor vehicle and coastal shipping agreements in the next few months. BIMSTEC member countries are negotiating framework agreements in regional cooperation in 14 areas, including trade, transport, energy, climate change, and poverty alleviation.

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September 2017
Roundtable Urges Increased India-Myanmar Connectivity, Trade

A roundtable discussion held in Myanmar noted the need to substantially increase connectivity, trade and diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India. Officials from the two countries participated in the India-Myanmar Dialogue: Act East Policy and India-Myanmar Relations, held on 2 September 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. The forum was organized by Parami Roundtable and Mizzima Media Group.

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Tags:  ASEANBIMSTECConnectivityIndiaMyanmarTrade

August 2017
BIMSTEC Seeks Stronger Ties and Cooperation

The 18th session of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Senior Officials' Meeting and the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting stressed the importance of cooperation in energy, technology, trade, and transport, through a revitalized, more integrated, and stronger BIMSTEC process. The Joint Statement underscored the need to finalize the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Agreement.

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Tags:  BIMSTECNepalBangladeshRegional CooperationEnergyTechnologyTradeTransportFree Trade Agreement

June 2017
India Proposes Regional Air Connectivity Scheme among BIMSTEC Countries

The Government of India has proposed application of its "Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik" (UDAN) or "Common People of the Country can Fly" policy among member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). An enabling regional connectivity policy could help attract high value economic agents, business travelers, and tourists.

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Tags:  IndiaBIMSTECTransportConnectivityBhutanMyanmarRegional Cooperation

May 2017
Building Stronger Cooperation with BIMSTEC

The Secretary General of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) advised member countries to look at regional cooperation in a pragmatic way, with efforts to build regional cooperation focusing on achieving practical results, at the conference marking BIMSTEC’s 20th anniversary.

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Tags:  BIMSTECTrade FacilitationTransportConnectivityRegional Cooperation

April 2017
India Cabinet Approves Signing of BIMSTEC Power Grid Pact

India's Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the ratification of the MOU for the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection. The MOU is expected to be signed at the next BIMSTEC Energy Minsters' Meeting and provides a broad framework for energy trade among BIMSTEC member countries.

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Tags:  BIMSTECBangladeshBhutanConnectivityEnergyIndiaMyanmarNepalSri LankaThailand

April 2017
Connectivity Needed for BIMSTEC to Succeed

The BIMSTEC region hosts 21% of the world’s population and holds great potential for trade. Experts at the Conference on Facilitating Connectivity in Bay of Bengal Region held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, stressed the importance of regional connectivity for BIMSTEC to succeed and to facilitate economic growth among BIMSTEC member countries.

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Tags:  BIMSTECASEANSAARCRegional CooperationCooperationBangladesh

March 2017
BIMSTEC Roundtable Stresses Need to Resolve Border-Related Trade Barriers

The Eighth BIMSTEC Roundtable Meeting tackled “Rewriting the Rulebook of Regional Connectivity,” emphasizing the need to resolve border-related trade barriers through coordination of government policies across Asia, including Customs procedures and clearance of goods, to unlock the vibrancy of the Asian Highway and reduce the cost of doing business.

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Tags:  BIMSTECTradeCustomsBangladeshIndiaMyanmarICTNepalTransportEase of Doing Business

January 2017
Sri Lanka Seeks to Attract Foreign Investment, Boost Exports

The Government of Sri Lanka aims to attract $50 billion in foreign investment in the next 5-10 years to help develop infrastructure, and boost exports to $20 billion by 2020. This year, Sri Lanka expects to sign free-trade deals with India, Singapore, and China.

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Tags:  Sri LankaExportsIndiaChinaFree Trade AgreementBIMSTECTourism

October 2016
Nepal Commerce Minister Stresses Implementation of BIMSTEC FTA, BTILS

Mr. Romi Gauchan Thakali, Minister for Commerce, Nepal, emphasized the need to finalize and implement the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Free Trade Area (FTA) Framework Agreement, to help boost growth among least developed and developing nations in South and Southeast Asia. He also highlighted implementation of the BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study.

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Tags:  BIMSTECTradeNepalTransport

October 2016
Bangladesh and Nepal Prime Ministers Keen on Hastening South Asian Integration

Bangladesh and Nepal officials have emphasized the need to both hasten and deepen integration among South Asian countries through the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the region must work to finalize BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Framework Agreement deals to boost trade in the region. Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal stated that BIMSTEC can be a dynamic engine for growth and development.

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Tags:  BangladeshNepalBIMSTECRegional CooperationFree Trade Agreement

September 2016
India Calls on BRICS to Deepen Ties with BIMSTEC Countries

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) share the responsibility to shape an agenda to help developing nations. He also spoke of the need to deepen ties with Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries.

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Tags:  IndiaBRICSBIMSTECRegional Cooperation

July 2016
BIMSTEC Negotiating FTA, Other Proposals to Enhance Trade

The BIMSTEC free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation by the inter-regional organization could benefit the region's trade by helping operationalize production links among member countries and eliminating non-tariff measures within a mutually agreed timeframe. BIMSTEC members are also considering a single visa proposal and extension of the BBIN transport agreement to Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.

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Tags:  BIMSTECFree Trade AgreementTransportSri Lanka

March 2015
BIMSTEC Finalizes MoU for Inter-regional Power Grid

Senior officials of BIMSTEC countries have finalized a draft deal to set up grid connectivity, allowing its seven member countries to share their surplus electricity with each other. The draft deal came out of the 5th Meeting of the BIMSTEC Task Force on Trans-Power Exchange, and provides a broad framework for grid interconnections across the region. It is estimated that the seven BIMSTEC countries have a combined hydropower potential of about 290,000 MW.
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Tags:  EnergyBIMSTECRegional Cooperation

February 2015
New Lease to Subregional Cooperation in South Asia

Mr. Saurabh Kaushik, research intern for the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, examines the trend toward subregional cooperation in South Asia. He traces the reasons for lack of significant outcomes of subregional groupings in the region, and discusses the “silver linings” on the horizon, including projects being supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the SASEC program.
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September 2014
BIMSTEC Secretariat Inaugurated in Dhaka

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.
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Tags:  BIMSTECBangladeshTransportTechnical Assistance

March 2014
BIMSTEC Senior Officials Visit the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Section of the Trilateral Highway Project

BIMSTEC senior officials visited the Myawaddy-Kawkareik Road Project in Myanmar on 20 March 2014, at the southeastern end of the Trilateral Highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand. The $38 million Government of Thailand-financed project is upgrading and constructing 45.5 kilometers of national highway, and rehabilitating the Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Bridge.
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Tags:  TransportConnectivityBIMSTEC

March 2014
Third BIMSTEC Summit of Leaders Convenes in Myanmar

The Third Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit of Leaders and related events was held on 1-4 March 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. Member States – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Sri Lanka – strengthened their resolve to jointly promote rapid economic development, and accelerate social progress in the sub-region.
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Tags:  BIMSTECTransportTrade