BMISTEC leaders arrive in New Delhi ahead of summit

November 12th, 2008 - 9:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Nov 12 (ANI): Leader of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday ahead of their second summit beginning on Thursday.
Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry received Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Mayanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein and Bangladesh’’s Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed on their arrival at the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi today.
The one day summit to be attended by Bangladesh’’s Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed, Minister, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lyonchhen Jigmi Y. Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan, Thein Sein, Prime Minister of Myanmar, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ”Prachanda”, Prime Minister of Nepal, Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka and Somchai Wangsawat, Prime Minister of Thailand.
Earlier in the day, foreign ministers of seven member countries met ahead of second summit to set the agenda for Thursday’’s summit.
The leaders of the countries are expected to focus on forging closer integration of the member countries.
Issues relating to terrorism and trans-national crime, energy cooperation, environment, transport, communication, terrorism and trade are likely to be high on the agenda.
The impact of global economic melt down on the region and measure to minimise its impact would also be the focus of discussion as the BIMSTEC summit takes places three days ahead of the crucial meeting of G-20 in Washington where India is scheduled to articulate the views of developing and poor nations of the world.
According to reports the progress in the proposed Free Trade Agreement between BIMSTEC member states would also be reviewed.
BIMSTEC is an international organisation, involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia, which includes Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri-Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.
In 1999 only six areas of cooperation were outlined. The areas of cooperation were increased to 13 in 2006. (ANI)

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