Dhaka hopes to have headquarter of sub-regional bloc

May 20th, 2009 - 1:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, May 20 (IANS) Bangladesh hopes to house the permanent secretariat of the sub-regional bloc, Bimstec, which was formed for rapid economic development and to accelerate social progress, officials have said.
Senior officials of the seven-nation Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) began their second scheduled meeting here Wednesday to discuss the issue of the permanent secretariat.

On June 6, 1997, the sub-regional grouping was formed in Bangkok. It has Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand.

Quoting unnamed diplomatic sources, New Age newspaper said that although Sri Lanka proposed to house the secretariat, the prospect of Bangladesh was bright as Thailand, the main initiator of the grouping, supports Dhaka.

Some member countries have expressed their reservation about Colombo in view of the security situation there.

Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, director general of the SAARC wing in Bangladesh’s foreign ministry, told New Age the two-day meeting would discuss the structure, functions, locations, remuneration packages and financial mechanism of the Bimstec secretariat.

Hossain said as per Bangladesh’s proposal, the secretariat will initially be set up in a rented house for a short period until a suitable place is found to house the office permanently.

“Once the organisation to agrees Bangladesh’s proposal, we hope to build a permanent secretariat in a suitable place in three years,” said the official, who chaired the Dhaka meeting.

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