BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers preparing greater trade, connectivity agenda ahead of summit

November 12th, 2008 - 3:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Nov.12 (ANI): Foreign Ministers of the seven member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) are currently meeting in the Indian capital to prepare the agenda for the one-day summit meeting of the grouping to be held here on Thursday.
Informed sources said the focus of Wednesday’’s meeting would be to look for ways to enhance trade and promote greater connectivity between India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Thailand.
Thursday’’s Second BIMSTEC Summit will be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ”Prachanda”, Bangladesh’’s Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein, Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and Thai Premier Somchai Wangsawat.
Rajapakse arrived in the Indian capital on Tuesday, while the other five leaders will arrive on Wednesday.
Trade, counter-terrorism, transnational crimes, tourism, fisheries and public health will be some of the issues taken up during the summit, besides reviewing the progress made on a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between BIMSTEC member states.
Current trade among BIMSTEC countries is estimated at 20 billion dollars. (ANI)

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