BIMSTEC suffers from a “lack of visibility” in the region, said the envoys of seven member countries who form the “Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation,” who also called for the speedy conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement within the group comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will join a summit of leaders from BIMSTEC countries in Kathmandu on August 30-31 and hold bilateral talks with most of them, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Oli. At an event organised by business chamber FICCI just ahead of the summit, envoys of BIMSTEC countries said the FTA should be the top priority for them. The envoys also spoke about the need for the upcoming summit to promote security issues including “terrorism and violent extremism” in the region. “Terrorism is the most significant threat in the Bay of Bengal region as well as South East Asia and we call for more cooperation amongst the member states on this issue,” said Myanmar Ambassador Moe Kyaw Aung. Thailand’s Ambassador Chutintorn Gongsakdi pointed out that the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway had not been completed, which is crucial to trade movement between the countries.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/bimstec-envoys-bat-for-fta/article24740783.ece