Government intensifies preparations for BIMSTEC summit next month

Kathmandu, July 16

The government has intensified preparations for the fourth Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, which will be held in Kathmandu from August 30 to 31.

With all member states confirming their participation, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will officially send invitations for the summit soon, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali at a media briefing today.

The government has formed different committees as part of preparations. They include a steering committee headed by PM Oli, preparation and coordination committee headed by Foreign Minister Gyawali, sectoral committees led by other ministers and sub-committees led by secretaries.

Minister Gyawali said that all six member states were in constant touch to maximise the outcome of the summit. He said an important meeting took place recently in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to set the agenda for the fourth BIMSTEC summit.

He further said that Nepal had accorded high priority to the multilateral gathering, especially, as it was being held after the promulgation and implementation of the constitution and beginning of a new political system in Nepal.

“Moreover, Nepal has some expectations from BIMSTEC, especially, in the areas of connectivity, roads, railways and power grid network,” he said at a media briefing today. He also said that BIMSTEC could be a bridge between SAARC and ASEAN.”

Other issues to be discussed at the summit, according to Gyawali, are poverty alleviation, climate change, cross-border crime control and other common concerns.

As part of the summit, a BIMSTEC senior officials’ meeting will be held on August 28 and a ministerial meeting on August 29.