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BIMSTEC to adopt connectivity master plan worth USD 124 billion: Secretary General Tenzin Lekphell

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 26th October, 2021 01:14:43 PM
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The regional grouping BIMSTEC will adopt the connectivity master plan which includes 267 projects worth USD 124 billion in its forthcoming summit at Colombo.

Announcing this during a symposium on Monday (Oct 25), the Secretary-General of BIMSTEC Tenzin Lekphell said that the BIMSTEC Charter will also be signed during the forthcoming 5th summit at Colombo as member states have completed the negotiation.

The Summit at Colombo will also sign three legal instruments on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, MoU on cooperation in Diplomatic academies and training institutions and the establishment of the BIMSTEC technology transfer facility.

The Secretary-General said that the member states have also ratified the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International terrorism, Transnational Organized crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking.

It has come into force from March 16 this year. He informed that the agreement on Trade in Goods of BIMSTEC FTA is at an advanced stage of negotiations.

Speaking about the connectivity issues, Tenzin Lekphell said that BIMSTEC countries are negotiating and making progress on the Coastal shipping agreement, Motor Vehicle agreement and Grid interconnection master plan.

Highlighting the importance of BIMSTEC in facilitating regular exchange among member states to narrow down differences, he said the BIMSTEC Foreign Secretaries have met 21 times, Foreign Ministers 17 times and Heads of states and Govts 4 times.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization. Established in 1997, it comprises seven member states Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.