The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is hosting the 5th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit on 30th March 2022 in hybrid mode. The theme of the Summit is “BIMSTEC-Towards a Resilient Region, Prosperous Economies, Healthy Peoples.” The Summit will be preceded by the 18th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and the 22nd BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting on 29th and 28th March 2022, respectively.
Hon’ble Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering, along with leaders of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Thailand will participate in the Summit virtually, which will be Chaired by H.E. Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa the President of Sri Lanka.
Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. Tandi Dorji will lead the Bhutanese delegation to the 18th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting, and Ambassador Rinchen Kuentsyl, Ambassador-designate of Bhutan to Sri Lanka will lead the delegation to the 22nd BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting.
The Summit and the preceding meetings will review the progress achieved in the areas of cooperation identified under the BIMSTEC framework pertaining to Trade, Investment and Development; Agriculture and Food Security; Connectivity; Science, Technology and Innovation; Environment and Climate Change; and People-to-people contact. The Leaders will also sign the BIMSTEC Charter; BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters; Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility; Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States.
The Hon’ble Foreign Minister is expected to call on the President of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, as well as hold bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers from the BIMSTEC Member States at the sidelines of the 5th BIMSTEC Summit.
BIMSTEC was formed on 6 June 1997 to enhance economic cooperation between the countries of Southeast Asia and South Asia around the Bay of Bengal. It is a regional grouping that encompasses about 1.5 billion people and a combined GDP of over USD $ 2.7 trillion. Bhutan became a member of BIMSTEC in 2004.