The 144th meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Working Group was held at BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka on September 14, according to its press release.
Delegations led by respective High Commissioners/ Ambassadors in Dhaka from Bhutan, India, Burma, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand as well as the Secretary General of BIMSTEC participated at the meeting.
The foreign secretary urged the member states to attach due importance to the emerging trends, challenges and developments and requested them to bring in fresh ideas to develop the future action plan for BIMSTEC.
“Reaching agreements and signing instruments to that effect among the member states for enhanced intra-regional trade and investment under the BIMSTEC FTA would be a concrete benchmark of our achievement,” the foreign secretary said.
Bangladesh would be ready to offer its full support and cooperation in achieving that goal, the secretary added.
The foreign secretary also emphasized connectivity, energy, counter terrorism, climate change and people-to-people contact as prospective key areas of future cooperation.
In this context, the engagement of regional think tanks would be useful in gaining critical insights on the future road map for the organization, the secretary express his view in the meeting.
He thanked the secretary general of BIMSTEC for his relentless efforts in making the forum more effective.
The High Commissioners and Ambassadors echoed the sentiment of the foreign secretary and mentioned that collective efforts and political will of the member states will be key components in the success of BIMSTEC.
Nepal, the present chair of BIMSTEC, mentioned that Nepal would soon announce the dates for the next Senior Officials Meeting.
At the end of the meeting, the delegation members expressed special gratitude towards the foreign secretary for the continuous support provided by Bangladesh to the BIMSTEC process, according to a local news agency – UNB.