4:42 pm - Wednesday January 18, 7009

3rd Bimstec Summit gets underway in Myanmar capital

The third Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit got underway in the Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw on Tuesday with a high hope for refreshing and strengthening regional cooperation.

Chairman of BIMSTEC and President of host country Myanmar Thein Sein inaugurated the third conference of the seven nation regional organization in the morning after six years of the second summit held in the Indian capital, New Delhi.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with other heads of states and governments as well as representatives of the member countries attended the inaugural session of the Summit.

bimst-ecOther leaders who attended the inaugural session of the Summit are Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Nepalese Prime Minister Suresh Koirala, Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay and Special envoy of Thai Prime Ministe,r who is also the Permanent Secretary of BIMSTEC, Sihasak Phuan Gketkeow.

The theme of the 3rd summit is ‘Partnership for Harmony and Prosperity’ which could serve as modus operandi in accelerating the economic growth and social progress in the sub-region through joint endeavours in a spirit of equality and partnership.

A colorful cultural programme was arranged in honour of the heads of delegation of the member states on the occasion of the inauguration of the BIMSTEC Summit.

Established in 1997 in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, the regional bloc identified 14 areas of cooperation including trade and investment, technology, energy, transport and communication, tourism, agriculture, cultural cooperation, environment and disaster management, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, and climate change.

At the third meeting, heads of states and governments are focusing on achieving visible headway in the priority areas by establishing bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Nay Pyi Taw to the attend the Summit when Myanmar’s President Thei Sein gave her a welcome reception.

The heads of states and the governments as well as the representatives of the member states also joined a group photo session.

Meanwhile, after the opening ceremony of the third BIMSTEC summit, two Memorandums of Association (MoAs) and one Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were signed in presence of the Heads of State and Heads of Government from BIMSTEC member countries.

The instruments are: MoA on Establishment of the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat; MoA on the Establishment of a BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate; and MoU on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Commission (BCIC) & BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Observatory (BCIO).