The Minister for Foreign Affairs Damcho Dorji led the Bhutanese delegation to the 15th Ministerial Meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) in Kathmandu, Nepal on August 11.
The ministerial meeting was preceded by the 18th Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting on August 10.
The Government of Nepal as the current chair of BIMSTEC is hosting the Ministerial Meeting for the first time. A press release from the foreign ministry stated that the meeting reviewed the progress of the outcome of the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat held in Goa, India on October 16, 2016 and the status of implementation of various activities following the 17th Session of the Senior Officials’ Meeting held in February, 2017.
The Ministers adopted the Joint Statement that seeks to forge stronger ties and cooperation among the member states to revitalise the BIMSTEC process. The meeting also endorsed the appointment of the next Secretary General of BIMSTEC from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh with the current Secretary General from Sri Lanka completing his tenure.
The Foreign/External Ministers of BIMSTEC also called on the Prime Minister of Nepal.
BIMSTEC is a regional organisation with seven Member States, established in June 1997 to create an enabling environment for rapid economic development, accelerate social progress in the sub-region and promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest. Bhutan became of member of BIMSTEC in 2004.