March 31, 2022
DHAKA – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced an aid of USD one million to augment operational budget of the seven-nation Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Secretariat.
Addressing the fifth BIMSTEC summit virtually, Modi said, “It is important to strengthen the capacity of (BIMSTEC) secretariat…I suggest the Secretary-General create a roadmap for the same.”
The BIMSTEC Secretariat is located in Dhaka.
The Indian PM made a strong pitch to move forward on the proposal for BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement, saying it is important to increase mutual trade among the countries of the region, our New Delhi correspondent reports.
“With our region facing challenges of health and economic security, the need of the hour is unity and cooperation,” he said in his brief speech.
In an apparent reference to Russia-Ukraine conflict, Modi said recent developments in Europe have raised question mark over the stability of the international order and this has made regional cooperation more important.
“The time has come for making the Bay of Bengal the bridge of connectivity, prosperity and security,” he added.
The BIMSTEC group consists of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.