Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has urged member countries to expedite BIMSTEC process.
He came up with the call at the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held virtually on Thursday in Colombo, Sri Lanka.Foreign ministers and senior officials of all the seven member countries joined the meeting.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen also joined the meeting.
AK Abdul Momen said, “BIMSTEC is a member-driven organization. We need to work simultaneously on a faster pace in all priority sectors to bring synergy in our cooperation to make BIMSTEC a result-oriented regional forum.”
Citing the celebration of birth centenary of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation, Momen said, “He (the Father of the Nation) was a visionary leader. In early 1972 he thought of working together with the neighbours in the region for collective progress and prosperity of our peoples. Regional cooperation has been our foreign policy priorities since then.”
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s decision to join BIMSTEC as its founding member in 1997 bears the testimony of our commitment to regional cooperation.
“It is reflected in hosting the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka. As the host country, Bangladesh is committed to extend all possible supports to strenghten the Secretariat.”Foreign minister observed that the enhanced trade and investment in the region would facilitate income and employment generation.
“Seamless multi-modal connectivity is a precondition for trade and investment promotion and people to people contact. We need the legal documents to be ready for signature at the earliest,” he said.
“Hosting meeting regularly and concurrences and participation of member states in those meetings are very much crucial in this regard.”
Bangladesh facilitated and supported the consideration and adoption of a series of vital documents in the meeting chaired by Dinesh Gunawardena, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka and Chairman of the meeting.
The meeting endorsed several BIMSTEC agreements, conventions, MoUs and other important documents or instruments envisaged to be signed or adopted at the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit.
The meeting approved and recommended the finalized draft text of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the finalized draft text of the Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) in Colombo and the draft text of the MoU on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States for signature during the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit.
The meeting approved the rationalization of sectors and sub-sectors of BIMSTEC and the Template of the Memorandum of Association (MoA) on the Establishment of the
BIMSTEC Centres/Entities for adoption during the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit.
The meeting also adopted Joint Statement of the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity for onward submission to the 5th BIMSTEC Summit and recommended the draft Text of the Summit Declaration as per recommendation of the Special SOM held virtually Wednesday in Colombo.
The 5th BIMSTEC Summit is expected to be held in Colombo in 2021 subject to the COVID situation.