Colombo: The leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) signed the BIMSTEC Charter at the 5th Summit held in Colombo on Wednesday, which formalizes the grouping into an organization made up of member states that are littoral to, and dependent upon, the Bay of Bengal.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined the Summit, hosted by current BIMSTEC chair Sri Lanka virtually, with other BIMSTEC leaders from Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, and Myanmar.
Several agreements and accords were signed on the closing day of BIMSTEC.
– The BIMSTEC Convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, or the nominated signatories of the BIMSTEC member states.
– A Memorandum of Association (MoA) on the Establishment of a BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs or the nominated signatories of the BIMSTEC Member States.
– The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the nominated signatories of the BIMSTEC Member States.
A declaration of the 5th BIMSTEC Summit was adopted on Wednesday as well. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional grouping of seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
The members constitute five from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand. The theme of the Colombo Summit was “BIMSTEC-Towards a Resilient Region, Prosperous Economies, Healthy Peoples”.