The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lyonpo 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, held on 11 August, 2017.
The Ministerial meeting was preceded by the 18th Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting on 10 August, 2017 to which Foreign Secretary Sonam Tshong led the delegation. The Bhutanese delegation comprise of officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Government of Nepal as the current chair of BIMSTEC is hosting the Ministerial Meeting for the first time. The meeting reviewed the progress of the Outcome of the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat held in Goa, India on 16 October, 2016 and the status of implementation of various activities following the 17th Session of the Senior Officials’ Meeting held in February, 2017.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Ministers adopted the Joint Statement that essentially seeks to forge stronger ties and cooperation among the Member States to revitalize the BIMSTEC process. Furthermore, 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.
Rt. Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal graced the inaugural session. The Foreign/External Ministers of BIMSTEC also called on the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal.
BIMSTEC is a regional organization with seven Member States, established in June 1997 with the main objectives of 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.