The Chairmanship of the Kathmandu Declaration- BIMSTEC handed over to Sri Kathmandu Declaration-BIMSTEC
The Chairmanship of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) rotates among the Member States. Nepal is the present chair of BIMSTEC.
Oli handed over the Chairmanship of the seven-member grouping to Sirisena at the end of the 4th BIMSTEC Summit .The 5th BIMSTEC Summit will be held in Sri Lanka.
BIMSTEC is a regional organisation comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
It constitutes five countries from South Asia -Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia -Myanmar and Thailand.
The objective of building such an alliance was to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalisation and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.
- 8-point Kathmandu Declaration aims to enhance effectiveness of BIMSTEC Secretariat by engaging it in various technical and economic activities in the region.
- It acknowledges importance of trade and investment as one of major contributing factors for fostering economic and social development in the region.
- It also deplored terrorist attacks in all parts of the world, including in BIMSTEC countries, and strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms.
- It also reiterated strong commitment of BIMSTEC countries to combat terrorism and called upon all countries to devise comprehensive approach in this regard.
- Member countries also agreed to expedite conclusion of BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and called upon member states for its early ratification.
- It also expressed satisfaction that many member states have ratified BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking.
- BIMSTEC countries also agreed to establish seamless multi-modal transportation linkages and smooth, synchronised and simplified transit facilities through the development, expansion and modernisation of highways, railways, waterways, sea routes and airways in the region.
- They also decided to speed up efforts to conclude BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement and BIMSTEC Motor Vehicle Agreement as early as possible taking into account special circumstances and needs of the member states.
- BIMSTEC countries also decided for early conclusion of BIMSTEC Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations, and directed the BIMSTEC Trade and Economic Ministerial Meeting and its subsidiary bodies, including Trade Negotiating Committee, to expedite finalisation of all related agreements of FTA as early as possible.
- BIMSTEC countries also called for exploring possibility of establishing BIMSTEC Development Fund with voluntary contributions from member states. The fund will be utilised for research and planning of BIMSTEC and financing of projects, and other activities of regional organisation