Staff reporter

The 6th BIMSTEC Summit, which will be the first in-person summit in five years, has been proposed to be held on 30th November in Thailand. The Summit will follow the 20th Ministerial Meeting on November 29.

It was discussed at the 19th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held virtually yesterday. Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji led the Bhutanese delegation.

Lyonpo underscored the significance of the BIMSTEC Charter in reinforcing the fundamentals of the organisation and Bhutan’s undertakings as the lead country for the Environment and Climate Change sector, according to a press release from the foreign ministry.

He called on member countries to bring back focus on multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation, the primary fundamental of BIMSTEC. Lyonpo urged member countries to maximise efforts in finalizing agreements under the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area Framework Agreement in order to stimulate trade, investment and growth in the region.

The 19th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting was held in preparation for the 6th BIMSTEC Summit. The seven Ministers, amongst other important matters, approved or endorsed the reports of the 23rd Senior Officials meeting; BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030; Agreement on Maritime Transport Cooperation; Rules of Procedure for BIMSTEC Mechanisms; Terms of Reference for Eminent Persons’ Group in the Future Directions of BIMSTEC; Reporting schema for various dialogue mechanisms operating under the Security Sector of BIMSTEC cooperation; and the host country agreement between the Government of India and BIMSTEC Secretariat for establishing BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate in India. Mountain economy was approved to be included as a sub-sector under the Environment and Climate Change sector.

Founded in 1997 with the aim of promoting economic and technical cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Region, its seven member states today house 1.73 billion people and have a combined GDP of USD 4.4 trillion. Bhutan has actively engaged in the proceedings of BIMSTEC since its membership to the organization in 2004.