Bay of Bengal initiative of Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic cooperation (
BIMSTEC) member countries that met in Kathmandu last week decided to speed up their efforts to conclude
Coastal Shipping Agreement and Motor Vehicle agreement between member countries
as early as possible.
Declaration issued at the end of the two day meeting on Transport and
communication including connectivity said the Agreement on Coastal Shipping and
Motor Vehicles should be forged as early as possible taking into account the
special circumstances and needs of the member states.
example states like Bhutan and Nepal are land locked need a arrangement with
the port of a neighboring country for existence. The other members states of
the conclave are India,. Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
meeting reiterated its resolve to establish
seamless multi-modal transportation linkages and smooth, synchronized and
simplified transit facilities through the development, expansion and
modernization of highways, railways, waterways, sea routes, airways in the
meeting noted with satisfaction the preparation
of the draft BIMSTEC Master Plan on Transport Connectivity and call for its
early adoption and thank the Asian Development Bank for providing support to
prepare the Master Plan,
The meeting allotted the task of working out the
modalities for its implementation to the BIMSTEC Transport Connectivity Working
Group (BTCWG) The Group should give due
attention to the special circumstances and needs of the Member States.
We agree that the Master Plan would serve as a strategic
document that guides actions and promotes synergy among various connectivity
frameworks, such as the ASEAN Master Plan on Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025), the
Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya- Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), to
achieve enhanced connectivity and sustainable development in our region.
The meeting also decided to establish a Working Group to deal
with information technology and communications related matters with a view to
provide greater access, more affordable and high-speed internet and mobile
communications to the peoples of the region. In this regard, we welcome the
offer of the Government of India to host a BIMSTEC Ministerial Conclave at the
India Mobile Congress 2018 being held in New Delhi from October 25-27 on the
theme "New Digital Horizons: Connect, Create, Innovate”, and encourage all
Member States to participate in it.
and Investment, the meeting decided to renew
their commitment to an early conclusion of BIMSTEC Free Trade Area (FTA)
negotiations, and direct the BIMSTEC Trade and Economic Ministerial Meeting
(TEMM) and its subsidiary bodies including the Trade Negotiating Committee
(TNC) to expedite finalization of all related Agreements of the BIMSTEC FTA as
early as possible.
The meeting expressed its satisfaction on the progress of
negotiation on the Agreement on Trade in Goods and the Agreement on Customs
Cooperation and also direct our respective Ministries/Agencies to participate
regularly in TNC Meetings.
agreed to revitalize the activities of BIMSTEC
Business Forum and BIMSTEC Economic Forum to further strengthen
Government–Private sector cooperation for the promotion of trade and investment
and task the Expert Group on BIMSTEC Visa Matters to continue negotiation for
finalization of the modalities for the BIMSTEC Visa Facilitation.