News List

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

June 2020

BIMSTEC Needs to Prepare for Manufacturing Shifts Post-COVID-19

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation nations need to be prepared for imminent shifts in global manufacturing that may occur following policy changes to respond to the COVID-19 global health crisis.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade

June 2020

BIMSTEC Countries Hope for Increased Cooperation on Road to Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Leaders and foreign ministers of BIMSTEC member states and the BIMSTEC Secretary General expressed their felicitations on the occasion of BIMSTEC Day 2020, and reaffirmed their commitment to building cooperation and increasing resilience through the interregional organization amidst the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Covid19, Connectivity

February 2020

Experts Call for Energy Cooperation among BIMSTEC Countries

Policymakers and experts have begun discussions on the creation of a regional power grid for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) member countries.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Bangladesh, Cooperation, Energy, Nepal

December 2019

New BIMSTEC Connectivity Plan to Ensure Seamless Movement of Goods and People

A new Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) connectivity master plan aims to ensure seamless movement of goods and people, improve transport interconnectivity, and promote cultural exchange.

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Tags: Bangladesh, BIMSTEC, Economic Corridor Development, India, Trade

October 2019

Rationalizing BIMSTEC’s Areas of Cooperation to Help Deliver More Results: BPWC Meeting

The BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee (BPWC) discussed rationalizing the organization’s areas of cooperation and the draft memorandum of understanding to be signed with the Asian Development Bank at the BPWC meeting in Colombo. Mr. Ravinatha Aryasinha, Foreign Secretary of the Government of Sri Lanka, emphasized that for Sri Lanka, early finalization of the BIMSTEC Charter and rationalization of the sectors are crucial to re-energize the organization.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, ADB, Sri Lanka, ASEAN, Regional Cooperation, Trade

August 2019

Thailand Port Deal to Boost Trade with Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka

Thailand and India have signed a memorandum of understanding that will promote a new maritime route between Thailand’s Ranong Port and India’s Krishnapatnam Port. The deal is part of Thailand’s policy to strengthen trade with Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka under the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) framework.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trade

August 2018

Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina and Nepal Prime Minister Oli to Take Energy Cooperation to the Next Level

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli agreed to take Bangladesh-Nepal cooperation in the energy sector to the next level. Mr. Ihsanul Karim, Bangladesh Press Secretary, reported that the two Prime Ministers discussed enhancing cooperation in the power sector, and agreed on the need to sign a memorandum of understanding to enable power trade.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Nepal, BIMSTEC, Energy

August 2018

Fourth BIMSTEC Summit Pledges to Deliver Results

The Government of Nepal hosted the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit on 30-31 August 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal, with participation of all BIMSTEC member countries. The Summit, in its Declaration, committed to deliver results in various sectors of cooperation, including poverty alleviation, connectivity, trade and investment, people-to-people contact, and tourism.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Regional Cooperation, Connectivity, Trade

August 2018

BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers Approve $50 Billion Worth of Connectivity Projects

Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC member countries approved in principle around 167 projects to improve connectivity in the region. The projects, detailed in a study by the Asian Development Bank, are worth an estimated $50 billion. It includes transportation and cross-border facilitation, multimodal transport and logistics, infrastructure development, aviation, maritime transport, human resources development, communication linkages, and networking in the region.

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Tags: Connectivity, Transport, BIMSTEC, Aviation, Logistics

August 2018

BIMSTEC Heads of Missions Urge BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement Conclusion

A preparation meeting for the fourth BIMSTEC summit discussed how BIMSTEC can catalyze regional economic development in the next twenty years. BIMSTEC heads of missions emphasized the need to conclude negotiations for the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement, and finalize trade facilitation measures in the BIMSTEC region.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Free Trade Agreement, Trade Facilitation

May 2018

BIMSTEC Working Group on Customs Cooperation Holds First Meeting

The BIMSTEC Working Group on Customs Cooperation held its first meeting on 10-11 May 2018 in New Dehi, India. The Meeting discussed progress in customs cooperation among BIMSTEC countries, and finalized the draft text of the 'Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters' for the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Customs, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trade

March 2018

BIMSTEC Conference Looks to the Future of the Bay of Bengal Region

The BIMSTEC conference, "BIMSTEC at its 20: Towards a Bay of Bengal Community" convened scholars, think-tanks, government officials, diplomats, business leaders, and other stakeholders from BIMSTEC member countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand—to take stock of the inter-regional organization's achievements and milestones, and aimed to chart a new direction for the future. It examined the potential and challenges of the BIMSTEC region.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Trade

January 2018

Commentary: Energy Cooperation Stabilizing Region

Rapid economic growth and increasing populations pose challenges to the South Asian region’s energy security. Increasing energy cooperation among South Asian countries will help ensure access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for the entire region.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, BBIN, BIMSTEC, Energy, Regional Cooperation, Hydropower, SAARC

December 2017

Speech: BIMSTEC at 20—Priorities for the Future

In her keynote address at the dialogue on BiMSTEC at 20—Priorities for the Future, Ms. Grace Asirwatham, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, reflects on the prospects for connectivity and prosperity among BIMSTEC member countries and explores the organization's priorities, including trade, transport, energy, and climate change.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Sri Lanka, Trade, Transport, Energy

November 2017

BIMSTEC Meeting Emphasizes Transport Connectivity Master Plan

The Second Meeting of the BIMSTEC Transport Connectivity Working Group discussed the BIMSTEC Master Plan on Transport Connectivity. The Master Plan is envisaged to provide an overarching framework for BIMSTEC in enhancing transport connectivity among its member countries.

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Tags: BIMSTEC, Transport, Connectivity

November 2017

Nepal to Join BIMSTEC Energy Grid

Nepal has decided to join the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grid interconnection, a move meant to help facilitate trade in electricity and take full advantage of available energy sources. Nepal is expected to sign an MOU to join the grid interconnection at the Third BIMSTEC Energy Ministers' Meeting.

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Tags: Bangladesh, Bhutan, BIMSTEC, Energy, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Trade Facilitation

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: ASEAN, BIMSTEC, Connectivity, India, Myanmar, Trade

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: BIMSTEC, Nepal, Bangladesh, Regional Cooperation, Energy, Technology, Trade, Transport, Free 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: India, BIMSTEC, Transport, Connectivity, Bhutan, Myanmar, Regional 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: BIMSTEC, Trade Facilitation, Transport, Connectivity, Regional 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: BIMSTEC, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Connectivity, Energy, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand

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: BIMSTEC, ASEAN, SAARC, Regional Cooperation, Cooperation, Bangladesh

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: BIMSTEC, Trade, Customs, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, ICT, Nepal, Transport, Ease 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 Lanka, Exports, India, China, Free Trade Agreement, BIMSTEC, Tourism

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: BIMSTEC, Trade, Nepal, Transport

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: Bangladesh, Nepal, BIMSTEC, Regional Cooperation, Free 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: India, BRICS, BIMSTEC, Regional 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: BIMSTEC, Free Trade Agreement, Transport, Sri 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: Energy, BIMSTEC, Regional 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: BIMSTEC, Bangladesh, Transport, Technical 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: Transport, Connectivity, BIMSTEC

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: BIMSTEC, Transport, Trade