- India hosted the first meeting of the Governing Board of BIMSTEC Energy Centre (BEC).
- India made a presentation on establishing the BIMSTEC Energy Centre (BEC) in India.
- The BEC will be housed in the premises of the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI), Bengaluru.
The Meeting recommended to add the additional following areas under the specialized Wings of BEC:
- Cyber Security,
- Green Hydrogen
- Energy Transition
The First BIMSTEC Energy Ministers Conference was held in 2005.
- The BIMSTEC Energy Centre was set up in Bengaluru, along with the BIMSTEC Business Council, a forum for business organisations to promote regional trade.
- It aims to create free-trade and power grid interconnectivity agreements, and a masterplan for transport connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region
- The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a multilateral regional organisation.
- Accelerating shared growth and cooperation between littoral and adjacent countries in the Bay of Bengal region.
- Sri Lanka
- It was founded as BIST-EC in 1997, with the adoption of the Bangkok Declaration, with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand as members.
- It became BIMST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation) with the entry of Myanmar in late 1997.
- It was named in its current form, when Nepal and Bhutan became members in 2004.
Significance of BIMSTEC
- The BIMSTEC region hosts 22% of the world population or 1.68 billion people.
- Member states have a combined GDP of US$3.697 trillion/per year.
- For India, BIMSTEC aligns with its ‘Act East’ policy for greater regional cooperation in southeast Asia.
- The progress of SAARC has stalled over the years due to Indo-Pak relations.
- BIMSTEC emerged as an alternative platform for cooperation.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PI