BIMSTEC Summit 2024: Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Maritime Transport Agreements

BIMSTEC Summit 2024

New Delhi: Foreign ministers and high-level officials from various countries have descended upon New Delhi to participate in the second meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). The summit, scheduled for July 11 and 12, aims to enhance collaboration among member nations.

Key Highlights:

  1. BIMSTEC Charter: The signing of the BIMSTEC Charter marks a significant milestone. This formalizes the organization’s structure, granting it an international personality. With an emblem, flag, and listed purpose, BIMSTEC now operates as a cohesive entity. India will lead the security pillar within this framework.
  2. Master Plan for Transport Connectivity: The summit unveiled the Master Plan for Transport Connectivity, providing a comprehensive framework for regional and domestic connectivity. This plan is expected to boost trade and economic ties among member countries.
  3. Legal Cooperation: Member nations signed a treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, reinforcing cooperation in law enforcement.
  4. BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF): A Memorandum of Association was established for the BIMSTEC TTF in Colombo, Sri Lanka. India pledged USD 1 million to support the secretariat’s operational budget.
  5. High-Level Meetings: Foreign ministers and delegation heads are scheduled to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the conference.

Nepal’s Participation:

Nepal’s Foreign Secretary, Seva Lamsal, actively engages in discussions on regional cooperation and mutual interests. Her visit to New Delhi underscores BIMSTEC’s commitment to strengthening ties among member nations.

Thailand’s Anticipation:

Thailand’s Prime Minister, Sritha Thavisin, eagerly awaits Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Thailand for the BIMSTEC summit in September. This reciprocal exchange aims to unlock the full potential of bilateral relations.

BIMSTEC Summit 2024

BIMSTEC: Beyond India

Apart from India, BIMSTEC includes Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan. The upcoming sixth BIMSTEC summit is slated to take place in Thailand later this year, building upon the progress achieved during the first Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bangkok in 2023.