FNCCI seeks enhanced regional cooperation

Kathmandu, August 11

The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has urged leaders of the member states of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to focus on enhancing regional cooperation and integration among its members to boost the economy of BIMSTEC member states.

Addressing the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting here today, FNCCI President Bhawani Rana said that the regional cooperation and integration among BIMSTEC has been sluggish in the past two decades of existence of BIMSTEC.

“Thus, time has come for all leaders and the governments of BIMSTEC members to provide

further impetus towards the success of the organisation,” said Rana, adding that BIMSTEC is one of the least integrated regions in the world — with intra-regional trade of just above seven per cent.

According to her, the BIMSTEC member states should aggressively work on addressing the tariff and non-tariff barriers and adopt trade facilitation measures to boost the intra-regional trade. Stating that pact on BIMSTEC Free Trade Area, which has been in discussion since long, is not enough to guarantee economic cooperation and integration, Rana said that BIMSTEC should address special needs of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Nepal to make the BIMSTEC a successful regional cooperation.