Kathmandu, Aug. 11: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara has informed that the 15th BIMSTEC ministerial meet held in the capital city made various agreements including early conclusion of BIMSTEC FTA agreements.
Following the successful conclusion of the 15th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting on Friday, Foreign Minister Mahara said the meeting also agreed for the early BIMSTEC agreement on mutual assistance in customs matters, BIMSTEC agreement on services and investment, MoU on establishment of the BIMSTEC grid interconnection, and memorandum of association on establishment of BIMSTEC technology transfer.
Similarly, other agreements of the meeting are early finalization of BIMSTEC trade facilitation agreement, BIMSTEC motor vehicles agreement, BIMSTEC coastal shipping agreement, signing and ratification of BIMSTEC convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, BIMSTEC convention on cooperation in combating international terrorism, transnational organized crime and illicit drug trafficking,
The meeting also agreed the effective implementation of BIMSTEC poverty plan of action adopted by the 2nd BIMSTEC ministerial meeting on poverty alleviation in Kathmandu in 2012.
Early establishment and operationalization of BIMSTEC centres, namely BIMSTEC energy centre in India, BIMSTEC weather and climate centre in India and BIMSTEC cultural industries commission and BIMSTEC cultural industries observatory in Bhutan are also the agreement the meeting made.
Moreover, the two-day meeting agreed the early establishment of BIMSTEC eminent persons' group (EPG) to recommend a future roadmap for BIMSTEC agenda for 2030.
Meanwhile, the meeting endorsed the report of the 17th and 18th sessions of the BIMSTEC senior officials' meeting held on 7 February and 10 August respectively. The meetings had taken decision on various matters relating to the budget of the Secretariat, revitalization of trade and economic cooperation among member states, formation of EPG to workout future decision of BIMSTEC among others.
Mr Islam of Bangladesh next Secretary General of BIMSTEC
Foreign Minister Mahara further informed at the press conference that the meeting also endorsed the name of MR Shahidul Islam of Bangladesh as the next Secretary General of BIMSTEC and appreciated the role played by the outgoing Secretary General Mr Sumith Nakandala in advancing the BIMSTEC process over the past three years.
Nepal offered to host the third energy ministerial meeting in early 2018, apart from hosting a few BIMSTEC sectoral meetings.
Nepal proposes to host 4th BIMSTEC Summit
Similarly, Nepal proposed to host the 4th BIMSTEC Summit at a date convenient to all member states. "We'll consult with the member states and announce the date," Minister Mahara said, adding that the next/16th meeting would also be held in Nepal back-to-back with the 14th Summit. (Sharachchandra Bhandary), RSS
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