August 11, 2017 06:51 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Aug 10: The 18th session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting kicked off in Kathmandu on Thursday setting up the agenda for the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting scheduled for Friday.
Speaking at the opening session of the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting Thursday evening, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba stressed the need for stronger partnership and deeper collaboration among the BIMSTEC member states in order to combat the challenges facing the BIMSTEC region.
“Poverty remains the most formidable challenge in our path to growth and prosperity. We must collectively and decisively overcome this challenge to enable our people’s right to live with dignity and honor,” said Deuba.
Thursday’s meeting concentrated on core areas like trade, investment, connectivity, energy, tourism to strengthen cooperation among the member countries, according to Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi who led the Nepali delegation in the meeting. Senior government officials from Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand were present at the meeting.
During the meeting, Nepal, which is currently chairing the regional bloc, made separately proposed to hold expert level meeting on Mountain Economy, poverty alleviation, Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals, on Legal and Law Enforcement Issues and Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.
Besides finalizing the draft joint statement to be adopted by Thursday’s Ministerial Meeting ,the meeting recommended Shahidul Islam of Bangladesh for appointment the next secretary general of BIMSTEC for the endorsement by the Ministerial Meeting.
Addressing the meeting, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara stressed the need for visible progress on core economic areas such as connectivity, trade, tourism, energy, and agriculture.
“Connectivity of all kinds, trade and investment cooperation, energy cooperation, use of information and technology are key enablers for bringing about structural as well as socio-economic transformation in the region,” said Mahara.