BIMSTEC to adopt Bangkok Vision 2030 at next summit
According to Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) meeting at the end of this year would embrace the Bangkok Vision 2030.
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)
- Member States: BIMSTEC consists of seven member states. They are:
- Sri Lanka
- Regional Focus: BIMSTEC member states are geographically connected to the Bay of Bengal region, and they are highly dependent on its resources and maritime connectivity.
- Population and GDP: The combined population of BIMSTEC member states is approximately 1.73 billion people. As of 2022, their collective gross domestic product (GDP) stands at around US$4.4 trillion.
- Objective: Along the Bay of Bengal coast, South Asian and Southeast Asian nations collaborate in 14 important areas of technology and economic cooperation.
- Trade & Investment
- Transport & Communication
- Public Health
- Poverty Alleviation
- Counter-Terrorism & Transnational Crime
- Environment & Disaster Management
- People-to-People Contact
- Cultural Cooperation
- Climate Change
- Free Trade Agreement: BIMSTEC member states have been engaged in negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA). The FTA aims to promote trade and economic cooperation within the region, similar to the objectives of other regional organizations like the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
- Leadership Rotation: BIMSTEC follows a rotation system for its leadership. The leadership position rotates in alphabetical order based on the country names of its member states. Each member state holds the chairmanship for a specific period, allowing equal representation and involvement of all member countries.
- Permanent Secretariat: The permanent secretariat of BIMSTEC is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It serves as the administrative headquarters and facilitates coordination, communication, and implementation of BIMSTEC activities.
Points to ponder:
- Bangkok Vision 2030: The Bangkok Vision 2030 is a proposal put forth by Thailand to guide BIMSTEC’s development and progress. It seeks to propel the organization towards a region that is prosperous, resilient, and open.
- Objectives of Bangkok Vision 2030: The vision aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Sustainable and Balanced Growth: It seeks to foster sustainable and balanced growth among member countries by promoting economic cooperation and development.
- Regional Inter-Connectedness: The vision emphasizes enhancing regional connectivity and integration through various means, such as improved transport infrastructure, trade facilitation, and people-to-people connectivity.
- Involvement of Stakeholders: It focuses on engaging all stakeholders, including governments, private sectors, civil society organizations, and academia, to ensure inclusive and participatory development.
- Strengthening BIMSTEC’s Internal Strength: The vision highlights the importance of strengthening BIMSTEC as an organization by enhancing its institutional capacity, decision-making processes, and coordination mechanisms.
- maritime Transport Cooperation Agreement: A maritime transport cooperation agreement is anticipated to be reached during the BIMSTEC meeting. This pact intends to improve maritime cooperation and coordination among member nations, promoting connectivity and trade in the Bay of Bengal region.
- Eminent Group of People: To keep track of the development in each of BIMSTEC’s seven sectors, an eminent group of people has been assembled. This group will be in charge of assessing the success of the activities and projects that BIMSTEC has undertaken in fields like commerce, investment, energy, tourism, and technology.
- Purpose: The event, themed “BIMSTEC – the way forward,” was held by the India Foundation to discuss and plan BIMSTEC’s next course of action. It gave participating nations a forum to discuss how to advance regional cooperation and accomplish the objectives outlined in the Bangkok Vision 2030.