Bangladesh said it is keen to see a more vibrant BIMSTEC with India being a major active partner of the regional economic grouping, as the two sides discussed ways and means to make it a vibrant and successful organisation. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Pranay Kumar Verma was also present during the meeting.
Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Saurabh Kumar, who arrived in Dhaka on Thursday morning for a two-day official visit, discussed various issues related to BIMSTEC with Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen. During the meeting, the Ministers approved several documents including Rules of Procedure for Core BIMSTEC Mechanisms. The meeting also approved the draft Host Country Agreement between India and the BIMSTEC Secretariat for establishing BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate in India.
Dhaka is set to become the new chair of the grouping of seven countries in December, with India set to become its secretary-general after the BIMSTEC summit in Thailand on November 30. The MEA tweeted, “India looks at Bangladesh as a key driver of the BIMSTEC process and appreciates its constructive role including as host to BIMSTEC Secretariat.”
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will attend the ministerial retreat on July 17 to discuss various issues at the BIMSTEC summit in Bangkok. Thailand will host the summit on 30 November. BIMSTEC is an international organization of seven South and Southeast Asian countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Masud said Bangladesh’s priority area in BIMSTEC is the economic front while India’s focus is on the security agenda and the two countries would like to coordinate issues between each other through discussions.
“There is scope for Bangladesh and India to work together on various issues under BIMSTEC,” said Masud. He also added that during their chairmanship Dhaka will attach additional importance to this regional forum and Bangladesh’s priority is to realize the BIMSTEC multilateral free trade agreement. India also looks forward to sign conventions with BIMSTEC countries on various security issues such as extradition and money laundering.