Delay in BIMSTEC implementation

Kathmandu, November 5:

The 13th meeting of member countries of BIMSTEC-TNC is starting in Myanmar from November 6 to 10 in an attempt to sort out differences related to trade and economic issues. BIMSTEC has already been delayed by five months, due to trouble in member countries.

BIMSTEC, a grouping of Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation, established with a view to expedite trade and economic cooperation between me-mber states has failed to come into force from July, 2006, thanks to difficult political developments in Th-ailand. Nepal and Bhutan joined as members only in February 2004.

The 12th meeting of BIMSTEC held in Sri Lanka Colombo from July 25 to 28, that was supposed to settle various issues related to trade and services according to its framework, could not sort out the issues.

Due to this, member countries of BIMSTEC are again meeting at the 13th Trade Negotiation Committee meeting to discuss trade in goods, rules of origin, safeguard measures, negative list, normal and fast track, investment and services. In this connection, a team led by Rabi Bhattarai, under secretary at the ministry of industry, commerce and supplies along with other members from the ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of law and parliamentary and customs department left for Myanmar yesterday, says a source at the ministry of industry, on conditions of anonymity.

Earlier, the joint secretary level staff from the ministry of industry used to represent BIMSTEC meet. However, this time, junior level staff is attending the meeting that itself shows that how serious the governm-ent is in expediting the BI-MSTEC implementation at a time when tough competition in intra-regional tra-de is going on, says an official at the ministry of industry. India, Thailand and Sri Lanka occupy huge shares in terms of trade in BIMSTEC grouping.