BIMSTEC – Basics

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

Important for prelims:

  • Established on  – June 06, 1997.
  • Secretariat – Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Number of members – 7 (Seven)
  • Current members – Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan
  • Original members – Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
  • Latest entrants – Nepal and Bhutan (in 2004)
  • Leadership is rotated in alphabetical order of country names. Currently, i.e. in 2019 – the grouping is being led by Sri Lanka.

 

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia, housing 1.5 billion people and having a combined gross domestic product of $3.5 trillion (2018). The BIMSTEC member states—Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan—are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal.

Fourteen priority sectors of cooperation have been identified and several BIMSTEC centres have been established to focus on those sectors. These fourteen priority sectors are – Transport and Communication, Tourism, Counterterrorism and transnational crime, Environment and Disaster Management, Energy, Public Health, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Technology, Fisheries, People-to-people contact, Poverty alleviation, Climate change and cultural cooperation.

Leadership is rotated in alphabetical order of country names. The permanent secretariat is in Dhaka.

On 6 June 1997, a new sub-regional grouping was formed in Bangkok under the name BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Following the inclusion of Myanmar on 22 December 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the Group was renamed ‘BIMST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). In 1998, Nepal became an observer. In February 2004, Nepal and Bhutan become full members.

On 31 July 2004, in the first Summit the grouping was renamed as BIMSTEC or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation.

Source: Wikipedia