25 years of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

25 years of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

Team Ambitiousbaba are here with a Current Affairs Special Series. In this series, candidates will be introduced to current affairs topics daily, which will not only improve their general awareness but also will ensure that the candidates do not lack in any current affairs topic. Today’s Current Affairs topic is “25 years of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

The formation of the BIMSTEC was in 1997 Bangkok Declaration on June 6 with the modest grouping (of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand). Now it is 25 years of BIMSTEC.

This was known as BIST-EC.

Later 3 other countries also joined (Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar) and made it the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Composition of the countries:

  • Under the unique set of BIMSTEC set of 5 counties is from South Asia and two from south East Asia (Myanmar, Thailand).

Achievement:

  • BIMSTEC has created its new Charter which is a good improvement in the organization.
  • Under that Charter it will tell the vision of BIMSTEC, Functions, constituent parts and its legal personality.
  • Earlier, it has 14 prioritised sectors but now they have reduced it to 7 as they are more manageable.
  • Measures to strengthen Secretariat
  • They will meet up once or twice in every one or two years.

Issues faced by BIMSTEC:

  • Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh
  • Coup in Myanmar
  • Political crisis in Sri Lanka
  • Oppression by the Myanmar Military

BIMSTEC’s consistency:

  • Still BIMSTEC is holding the summits irrespective of the issues, like SAARC faces issues because of that no meetings were hold.
  • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held only one summit since it was established in 1997.
  • BIMSTEC has hold 5 summits till now and also resolved the issues.

Areas of Cooperation:

  • Energy Security
  • Connectivity
  • Trade
  • Agriculture
  • Sustainable development

Future Plans:

  • They have decided to make energy Centre and the Centre on Weather and Climate for the sectoral corporation forward.

Faultlines:

  • There has been a continue inability to produce a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Under this FTA there was 7 agreement which is to be operationalized under the agreement but only 2 was finalized till now.
  • Issue of Connectivity
  • Bring people close for the trade, tourism and cultural exchanges
  • Master Plan for Connectivity supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Aim Mega Projects to improve connectivity

Prospects:

  • An objective evaluation may award an A­ to BIMSTEC@25, with the remark that it must do better.
  • Works to realise the vision of the Bay of Bengal Community (BOBC).
  • Deepening linkages between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • Accelerate the region’s economic development by collaborating with the newly minted Indo­Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
  • New synergy should be created between BIMSTEC and the IPEF

About BIMSTEC:

It is an international organization housing 1.73 billion people and having a combined gross domestic product of US$4.4 trillion (2022).

BIMSTEC Meetings:

No. Date Host country
1st 31st July 2004 Thailand
2nd 13th November 2008 India
3rd 4th March 2014 Myanmar
4th 30-31st August 2018 Nepal
5th 30th March 2022 Sri Lanka

 

Questions and Answer:

Q.1. In which year BIMSTEC was established?

Ans. 1997

Q.2. In which year India hosted the BIMSTEC Meeting?

Ans. 2008

Q.3.  How many priority sectors are in the BIMSTEC now?

Ans. 7

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