BIMSTEC and India - Seeker's Thoughts

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BIMSTEC and India

Introduction- BIMSTEC was founded by Bangkok declaration in 1997, and it stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for multi sectoral technical and economic cooperation. The organization has following members – Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Thailand.
It Is an International Organization between South Asia and South East Asia. These member countries are dependent upon the bay of Bengal.
A free trade agreement is under negotiation in 2018. The permanent Secretariat is in Dhaka (opened in 2014) and there 14 identified sector for cooperation
Objective – Technical and Economic Cooperation along the coast of Bay of Bengal. Commerce Investment, technology , tourism, Human Resource Development, agriculture, fisheries, transport and communication etc are the part of cooperation and training and research. These countries provide mutual assistance to one another in area of common interest.   

Who stays the chairman?
It uses the alphabetical order. 14 Priority Areas are lead by different nations to lead the efforts.
Partner- Asian Development Bank has become a partner of BIMSTEC in 2005 to undertake the “BIMSTEC Transport and Logistic Study”.
India and BIMSTEC- India provides 33% of its expenditure as well as India leads in Transport and communication, Tourism, Counter terrorism and transnational Crime , Environment and Disaster Management.

BIMSTEC summit 2018:Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal Region’.
4th BIMSTEC summit held in Kathmandu Nepal. All member states held discussion on trade, security and development of the region. BIMSTEC summit also addressed several issues like facing challenges posed by global warming, achieving sustainable development goals, and expanding connectivity to ease movement among the people of BIMSTEC- member states and enhance cooperation
--   BIMSTEC has 14 priority sectors, this summit has integrated two more priority sectors- Blue Economy and Mountain Economy. 
       --   A BIMSTEC free trade agreement (FTA) is under negotiation along with a customs cooperation agreement and a motor vehicles agreement.  

BIMSTEC is important for India in term of New Delhi’s Act East Policy and neighborhood First Policy, with North-eastern India acting as a bridge between south Asia and southeast Asia.
India is the lead country for cooperation in four priority areas: counter terrorism and transnational crime, transport and communication, tourism and environment, and  disaster management.

 India has been growing at faster pace in recent times and needs products for consumptions, assistance for growth, and some technology to share. India’s ambitions to connect with the region often don’t remain so stable and smooth because among other groups like SAARC and SCO- Pakistan and India come to conflicts and relations don’t run smooth. BIMSTEC can play a vital role as countries share the same interest and India had better relations with these countries since ancient time.