The 144th BIMSTEC Working Group (BWG) Meeting was held at BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation at the meeting.
Delegations led by respective High Commissioners/Ambassadors in Dhaka from the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Republic of India, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Nepal, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Thailand as well as the Secretary General of BIMSTEC participated in the meeting.
The foreign secretary urged the member states to attach due importance to the emerging trends, challenges and developments and requested them to bring in fresh ideas to develop the future action plan for BIMSTEC.
He said, “Reaching agreements and signing instruments to that effect among the member states for enhanced intra-regional trade and investment under the BIMSTEC FTA would be a concrete benchmark of our achievement.”
Bangladesh would be ready to offer its full support and cooperation in achieving that goal, he added.
The foreign secretary also emphasised connectivity, energy, counter terrorism, climate change and people-to-people contact as prospective key areas of future cooperation.
In this context, he opined that the engagement of regional think tanks would be useful in gaining critical insights on the future road map for the organisation.
He thanked the secretary general of BIMSTEC for his relentless efforts in making the forum more effective.
The High Commissioners and Ambassadors echoed the sentiment of the foreign secretary and mentioned that collective efforts and political will of the member states will be key components in the success of BIMSTEC, reports UNB.
Nepal, the present chair of BIMSTEC, mentioned that Nepal would soon announce the dates for the next Senior Officials Meeting.
At the end of the meeting,? the delegation members expressed special gratitude towards the foreign secretary for the continuous support provided by Bangladesh to the BIMSTEC process.