Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand. Initially, the economic bloc was formed with four Member States with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Following the inclusion of Myanmar on 22 December 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the Group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan at the 6th Ministerial Meeting (February 2004, Thailand), the name of the grouping was changed to ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC).
Priority areas of cooperation include: fisheries, trade and investment, technology, energy, transport and communication, and tourism.
The First Summit Meeting held in 2004 highlighted, among other milestones, the signing of a Framework Agreement for a BIMSTEC Free Trade Area, the launch of the Visit BIMSTEC Year 2004-2005, a year-long Plan of Action on tourism, and the establishment of the BIMSTEC Center in Bangkok.
The number of priority sectors increased from 6 to 13, after the 8th Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 18-19 December 2005. The additional priority sectors are: agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, environment and natural disaster management, and people-to-people contact.
- Fourth BIMSTEC Summit DeclarationBIMSTEC31 Aug 2018
- Joint Statement of the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial MeetingBIMSTEC11 Aug 2017
- Joint Statement of the 13th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting22 Jan 2011
- Joint Statement of the 12th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting11 Dec 2009
- Second BIMSTEC Summit Declaration13 Nov 2008
- India to provide $1 million to Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to increase its operational budgetwww.aninews.in30 Mar 2022
- Bay of Bengal nations urged to invest in connectivity, reap trade benefitThe Financial Express - Bangladesh13 Mar 2022
- Centre aims at industry integration with east, Southeast Asia: [Indian] OfficialDeccan Herald29 Jan 2022
- India, Sri Lanka amp up collaboration in science and technology for three more yearswww.aninews.in20 Jan 2022
Opinions and Editorials
- Expanding Sri Lanka-Bangladesh connectivityDaily FT20 Apr 2021
- Energising tourism for a Bay of Bengal communityObserver Research Foundation18 Jan 2021
- Sri Lanka: Towards greater integration in South AsiaDaily News8 Sep 2020
- Bangladesh-Nepal energy cooperation; the horizon of new possibilitiesThe Himalayan Times7 Sep 2020
Studies and Research
- Development of East Coast Economic Corridor and Vizag-Chennai Industrial CorridorP. BanerjeeAsian Development Bank1 Feb 2017
- Regional Transport Infrastructure: Mapping Projects to Bridge South Asia and Southeast AsiaP. Morgan, G. Wignaraja and M. PlummerAsian Development Bank1 Sep 2015
- Regional cooperation in transport: Myanmar perspective on BIMSTECThein, Cho ChoCentre for Studies in International Relations and Development1 Sep 2008
- BIMSTEC-Japan cooperation in energy sector: Myanmar perspectiveThein, Myat and Myoe MyintCentre for Studies in International Relations and Development1 May 2008
- Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial MeetingBIMSTEC1 Apr 2021
- Special Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Official's Meeting BIMSTEC31 Mar 2021
- The Second Meeting of the BIMSTEC Network of Tour Operators [Virtual]BIMSTEC8 Dec 2020
- The Second Meeting of the BIMSTEC Expert Group on Poverty Alleviation (Virtual)BIMSTEC12 Nov 2020