BIMSTEC: This is how the summit unfolds

KATHMANDU: The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) begins in Kathmandu today. Top-dignitaries from member nations have arrived here in the capital.

President of Myanmar, Win Myint was the first visiting representative to arrive in Nepal. Likewise, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Chief Justice of Bhutan Tshering Wangchuk, who is also the Chief Advisor to the interim government, landed in the capital on Wednesday.

Prime Ministers of Bangladesh, India and Thailand - Sheikh Hasina Wazed, Narendra Modi and Prayut Chan-o-Cha, respectively, arrived before Thursday noon.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday had shared that formal meeting among the heads of states and governments of the member nations would be held on the sidelines of the summit. Matters of mutual cooperation would be discussed during the meetings, said the PM.

PM Oli held bilateral talks with Bangladeshi Prime Minister, President of Myanmar and Chief Advisor to interim government of Bhutan.

The heads of government of BIMSTEC member nations called on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Thursday. The meeting was followed by a luncheon hosted by Sheetal Niwas, the official residence of the President of Nepal.


Earlier on Tuesday, a meeting of the senior officials of member states had endorsed establishment of the BIMSTEC development fund, rationalisation of areas of cooperation and identification of core priority areas. The meeting also endorsed the process of strengthening the secretariat to make it capable of supporting member states in the implementation of decisions, initiating the process of evolving the charter of the BIMSTEC, and initiating the process of working out Rules of Procedures of BIMSTEC mechanisms.


The 16th ministerial meeting of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) concluded successfully on August 29.

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Minister of State for External Affairs of India VK Singh, Union Minister of International Cooperation of Myanmar Kyaw Tin, Sri Lankan State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudwinai, and Bhutanese Foreign Secretary Sonam Tshong led the delegations from their respective countries in the meeting.


The fourth BIMSTEC summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at around 3:00 pm on Thursday. The summit is being held at the Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Tahachal.

Following PM Oli's speech, the top-dignitaries from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand will deliver their address. First day of the summit will come to a close at around 6:00 pm on Thursday. The guests will attend a reception hosted by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at the Hyatt Regency before calling it a day.


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will receive the top-dignitaries at a retreat hosted in their honour at Soaltee Crowne Plaza on Friday morning. The retreat will be followed by the final session of the BIMSTEC summit.

The summit, under the theme ‘Towards Peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Bay of Bengal Region’, will mainly focus on connectivity, poverty alleviation, trade, investment, tourism, climate change and security challenges. Other areas of discussion include strengthening and making effective the BIMSTEC secretariat, the establishment of BIMSTEC development fund, Buddhist circuit, setting up of regional centres, adoption of BIMSTEC charter and rationalisation of priority areas.

The summit will conclude with the issuing of Kathmandu declaration and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnections, paving the way for trade in energy among member states.


Nepal will hand over the responsibilities to Sri Lanka to conduct the fifth summit of the BIMSTEC.


Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wazed will be the first guest to retire from the summit. Her flight is expected to take off at around 1 pm on Friday. Thailand PM Prayut Chan-o-Cha's flight will leave for the Thai capital at 4:00 pm while Myanmar President Win Myint will leave exactly half-an-hour later. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a rest-house at Pashupatinath and then leave for New Delhi at 6:00 pm.

Meanwhile, Chief Advisor to the interim government of Bhutan Tshering Wangchuk will leave for Lumbini today. Wangchuk will leave for Bhutan on Saturday.

Lankan President, Sirsena, is scheduled to leave on Sunday.