Third BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit was held from 1 March to 4 March 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
The Third BIMSTEC summit was attended by the heads from six countries and Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Thailand, namely
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Prime Minister of Nepal
President of Sri Lanka
Prime Minister of Bhutan
President of Myanmar
During the summit, enhancing regional cooperation in energy sector, the Third BIMSTEC Energy Ministerial Meeting will be held in Nepal in 2014 and also the Fourth BIMSTEC Energy Ministerial Meeting will be held in 2015 in Bhutan.
Highlights of the summit
The members recognised the threat that terrorism poses to peace, stability and economic progress and agreed for closer cooperation in combating all forms of terrorism and transnational crimes.
The members agreed to explore collaborative initiatives amongst the Member States towards addressing the adverse impacts of climate change in the BIMSTEC region.
The members decided to move forward towards finalization of the draft Agreement on Trade in Goods with agreed General Rules of Origin and Product Specific Rules. It was also decided to work in the direction of signing an agreement on dispute settlement procedures and the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters under the Framework Agreement on the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area.
The members agreed to set up the BIMSTEC Network of Policy Think Tanks and agreed to cooperate and coordinate for organizing activities like workshops and seminars, which includes audio-visual programmes to create public awareness on BIMSTEC.
Earlier during the second BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Alleviation summit in Nepal in January 2012 the Poverty Plan of Action was adopted and in this summit the heads agreed to implement the Poverty Plan of Action. Sri Lanka is going to host the Third Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Alleviation during the first half of 2014.
The following three pacts were signed
• Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat.
• Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Commission (BCIC) and BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Observatory (BCIO).
• Memorandum of Association among BIMSTEC Member Countries Concerning Establishment of a BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate.
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) was established in 1997 in Bangkok. It was a new sub regional grouping, named BISTEC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).Myanmar (1997) and Sri lanka (1998) joined the group who were observers earlier and they joined the group later.
The First BIMSTEC Summit was held in 2004 in Bangkok and the Second Summit was held in 2008 in New Delhi.
The main purposes of BIMSTEC are to create
• An enabling environment for rapid economic development
• Accelerate social progress in the sub-region
• Cooperate in projects that can be dealt with most productively on a sub-regional basis and which make best use of available synergies.