Minister stresses implementation of BIMSTEC FTA

KATHMANDU: Minister for Commerce Romi Gauchan Thakali stressed the need to finalise and implement the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Framework Agreement in order to support least developed and developing nations of the South and Southeast Asia.

Addressing the BIMSTEC Business Summit on the sidelines of the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit in Goa of India on Friday, Gauchan hoped the Agreement would give positive contributions to economic growth and trade of such nations, the Ministry of Commerce informed in a statement today.

It was not beneficial for the region that the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member states were weak in trade and economic integration despite being rich in terms of natural and human resources, he commented.

But, the Agreement would promote interrelationship between the member states – namely: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand – in the sectors of trade, investment and service industries, he added.

Meanwhile, the Minister also emphasised implementation of the BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study.

Minister Thakali had led a Nepali delegation including representatives from the private sector also to the Business Summit, jointly organised by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Meanwhile, the Minister directly flew to Dhaka of Bangladesh from India to take part in the ninth South Asia Economic Summit (SAES) and addressed the event on Saturday.

He held a bilateral meeting with the Bangladeshi counterpart Tofael Ahmed in Dhaka today.

They discussed promotion of bilateral investment and trade, according to the Ministry.