BIMSTEC ministerial meeting to kick off today

Kathmandu, August 9

Preparations for the 15th ministerial meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), established with the goal of jointly attaining economic growth and social prosperity by realising the spirit of equality and collaboration, have been completed.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the preparations required for the ministerial meeting of the BIMSTEC scheduled to take place in Capital from Thursday have been completed.

The sub-regional organisation of the southern and south-eastern countries of Asia was established 20 years ago for the rapid economic development of the member countries.

The secretaries and high-ranking officials of foreign affairs of some member-states of the BIMSTEC arrived here this afternoon to attend the 18th meeting of Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) before the ministerial meeting, shared Chief of Regional Organisation Division at MoFA Mani Prasad Bhattarai.

Representatives from India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand have arrived here for the meeting, Bhattarai shared.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is scheduled to inaugurate the ministerial meeting tomorrow.

As per the schedule, the ministers of foreign/external affairs of all member countries are arriving tomorrow.

In the meeting, discussions will be held on 14 different areas identified by BIMSTEC, including trade, investment, transport and communication, energy, tourism, public health, anti-terrorism and climate change. Similarly, it is expected that the date for fourth summit of heads of the state and government of BIMSTEC countries will also be finalised.

Likewise, the meeting has the agenda to approve the report of 17th SOM held here earlier this year and report of 18th meeting taking place on Thursday.

Discussion on the progress of the outcome of the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat held in Goa, India on October 16, 2016 and the agenda of action, agreed by the leaders of BIMSTEC during informal consultations at the retreat will be held.

According to the programme agenda, the meeting will discuss the status of the progress and achievement in the 14 areas of cooperation, appointment of the next secretary general, date and venue of the 16th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting, and adoption of the joint statement of the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial meeting.

The Nepali delegation in the meeting is being led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara. Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi is representing Nepal in SOM.