Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Kathmandu, Nepal on 30th August 2018, Thursday to attend Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit.
It is a two-day meet which starts today and will conclude on 31st August 2018. The Prime Minister will have lunch with the President of Nepal Bidhya Devi Bhandari. A number of talks will take place among the BIMSTEC nations followed by a gala dinner hosted by Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at the inaugural ceremony.
PM Modi will meet foreign leaders like Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Myanmar’s head of state Win Myint at the sidelines of the event. The theme of the summit is ‘Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region‘.
BIMSTEC has 14 priority sectors and it has integrated two more priority sectors namely- Blue Economy and Mountain Economy.
What is BIMSTEC?
The BIMSTEC is a regional grouping of seven countries – Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal. It came into existence on June 6, 1997, in Bangkok. However, the permanent secretariat is at Dhaka which opened in 2014.
It was formed with the aim of encouraging the technical and economic cooperation among South Asia and Southeast Asia nations alongside Bay Of Bengal. Commerce, Investment, Technology, Tourism, Human Resource Development, Agriculture, Fisheries, Transport and Communication, Textiles, Leather, and others are the major sectors on which BIMSTEC focuses.
Why is it important for India?
BIMSTEC will act as a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia. Myanmar and Thailand have a major role to play in India’s plan of connectivity to northeast nations. India-Myanmar-Thailand is a key project which finds its way in the government’s Act East policy. SAARC is suffering due to India-Pakistan disputes which are hindering the process of regional cooperation. So, BIMSTEC will pave the way for smooth regional cooperation in a different manner.
On 31st August 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a bilateral talk with the Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli