PM Modi to attend virtual summit of BIMSTEC on March 30

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend a virtual summit of the seven-nation BIMSTEC grouping on March 30, which is expected to focus on expanding economic engagement among its member countries.

The summit is being hosted by Sri Lanka in its capacity as the chair of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).

Besides India and Sri Lanka, the BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the 5th BIMSTEC Summit on March 30. The summit meeting, which is being held in virtual mode, will be hosted by Sri Lanka, the current BIMSTEC chair," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

India has been making concerted efforts to make BIMSTEC a vibrant forum for regional cooperation as initiatives under the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) are not moving forward for a variety of reasons.

The MEA said meetings of BIMSTEC senior officials will take place on March 28, followed by meetings of the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers (BMM) on March 29.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is visiting Sri Lanka from March 28 to March 30 and he will attend the meeting of the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers.

"The Covid pandemic related challenges, and the uncertainties within the international system that all BIMSTEC members are facing, impart greater urgency to the goal of taking BIMSTEC technical and economic cooperation to the next level," the MEA said in a statement.

"This is expected to be the main subject of deliberations by leaders at the summit," it added.

The MEA said the leaders are also expected to discuss the establishment of basic institutional structures and mechanisms of the group.

 

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