Nepal has proposed to host the fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) towards the end of 2017….reports Asian Lite News
As Chair of the regional grouping, it is Nepal’s turn to host the summit.
Nepal has offered to host the summit in October or November and the exact date will be circulated to the member states during the upcoming BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting that is scheduled to take place in June, according to officials who attended the meeting of the seventh session of senior officials of BIMSTEC.
The meet concluded in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
The three-day meet of Foreign Secretaries and Joint Secretaries from the seven-member states deliberated upon various issues related to strengthening and revitalising the BIMSTEC process.
Earlier in 2015, during the third BIMSTEC Summit in Myanmar, Nepal had committed to host the summit in 2016 but the event was postponed due to the devastating earthquake in 2015 and other reasons.
Nepali Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi told media that some important decisions were taken to revitalise the BIMSTEC process.
“Nepal offered to host the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in June 2017 and the fourth BIMSTEC Summit in Nepal towards the end of 2017, in consultation with BIMSTEC members,” he said.
The agenda of the meeting included important priority sectors such as connectivity, trade, tourism, investment, energy, and technology transfer, among others.
The three-day meeting also tasked an Eminent Persons’ Group to work out BIMSTEC vision — a roadmap for future BIMSTEC roadmap in the UN Agenda 2030.
It is also decided to conclude the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement at the earliest.
The meeting also decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of BIMSTEC with various activities in member states and its secretariat in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The activities include releasing commemorative stamps in June this year designating BIMSTEC heritage sites and promoting BIMSTEC Buddhist circuit and tourism.
The member states, according to Bairagi, have agreed to sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the BIMSTEC Gird Interconnection at the third Energy Minister’s meeting which is expected to be held in Kathmandu on March 30-31 after completing their internal procedures.
During the meeting, Nepal has offered to prepare a concept paper on the mountain economy for exploring and exploiting its potential, said Bairagi.
Other decisions included finalising the financial matters and others like salaries, allowances and other facilities of the Secretary General, directors and general service staff of the secretariat.