BIMSTEC countries need to infuse new energies among BoB nations: Jaishankar

New Delhi, July 11 (UNI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday called upon BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries to infuse new energies, new resources and a new commitment into cooperation among the Bay of Bengal nations.

In his opening remarks at the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in New Delhi, EAM said, ”For India, BIMSTEC represents the intersection of its ‘Neighbourhood First’ outlook, the ‘Act East Policy’ and the ‘SAGAR’ vision”.

“Each of these endeavours is being purposed with a specific focus on the Bay of Bengal, where collaborative potential has long remained under-realized” he added.

The Minister said, “Our challenge is to change that for the better, and to do so rapidly. The retreat is meant to exchange ideas openly, candidly and fruitfully.

The meeting is being attended by the foreign ministers or senior representatives of the governments of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.

Talking about the new global goal that needs “cooperation” Jaishankar said, “Global and regional developments also make it imperative that we find more solutions amongst ourselves. There are longstanding goals such as capacity building and economic cooperation that have acquired a new urgency”.

Recalling that the BIMSTEC countries had last met in a similar format in Bangkok in July last year he said “Much has happened since then and this should spur their endeavours to deepen and broaden activities of BIMSTEC,” he added.

“We all benefited from the last such exercise in Bangkok. This one now has a particular importance as it serves to prepare strong outcomes for the Summit to be held later in the year. Our message should be clear – that we are all determined to infuse new energies, new resources and a new commitment into cooperation among the Bay of Bengal nations” he said.

Highlighting the issue discussed in the first meeting, Jaishankar said, “Our discussions, in the first part, will revolve around connectivity, institutional building, cooperation in trade and business, collaboration in health and space, digital public infrastructure, capacity building and societal exchanges, as well as weighing on the merits of new mechanisms”.

“I hope in the second part of our deliberations, we could focus more sharply on the possible outcomes of the forthcoming Summit. These discussions would be led by our Thai colleague as the BIMSTEC Chair and the host of the Summit”, the EAM said.

Leave a Reply