Bangladesh Foreign Minister Calls for Transformation of BIMSTEC into a Dynamic Organization.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, M.P. urged the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers to renew their pledge to build BIMSTEC as an efficient, high performing and result oriented regional organization. The Foreign Minister made this appeal at the 16th BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held at Kathmandu, Nepal today. The Meeting was presided by Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali,.

The 16th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting took stock of the progress made since the 3rd BIMSTEC held in Myanmar in 2014 and the BIMSTEC Leaders’ pledge made at Goa Retreat in October 2016 in India. During the Meeting, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali reiterated Bangladesh commitment to the BIMSTEC cooperation and briefed the meeting about the activities and events Bangladesh undertook during the last four years including hosting of the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka. He called upon BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers to review the structure of BIMSTEC in particular in its areas of cooperation, strengthen the Secretariat. The Foreign Minister urged to conclude of BIMSTEC Free Trade Area and its constituent MoUs and Protocols for its early implementation. He also stressed on cooperation in certain key sectors such as connectivity, energy, poverty alleviation, climate change, people-to-people contact, among others.He also emphasized on prioritization and rationalization of the sectors and inclusion of new areas such as Blue Economy, Mountain Economy, participation of civil society and business sectors cooperation.

The Foreign Ministers finalized the agenda for the Fourth BIMTEC Summit to start from tomorrow. It includes a text of the proposed Joint Declaration by the Leaders of BIMSTEC under the theme,“Towards A Peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Bay of Bengal Region,” an MOU on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Power Grid Inter-Connection. It would also be signed during the Summit. Prior to the Ministerial Meeting, Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation to the19thSOM.

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