June 6 is the BIMSTEC Day and the Secretariat in Dhaka celebrated the day by hosting a reception on June 25.


  • BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is a regional organization which comprises seven Member States in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.
  • BIMSTEC came into being through the Bangkok Declaration on 6 June 1997. Initially, it was formed of BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation). Later Myanmar was included in December 1997 and Nepal and Bhutan in 2004.
  • BIMSTEC is a sector-driven cooperative organization. It aims to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.
  • BIMSTEC which connects South Asia with Southeast Asia can serve as a platform for inter-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.

BIMSTEC Yet to Take Off

  • BIMSTEC is yet to make visible progress in advancing concrete cooperation among the member states in spite of the solid foundation of geographical contiguity and shared history and cultural ties.
  • BIMSTEC which accounts for 21 per cent of the world population provides a huge potential for trade. But intra-BIMSTEC trade is very low mostly due to the low level of economic integration within the region and a dearth of infrastructure, especially transport connections within those countries.

BIMSTEC is now seen as an alternative to SAARC following India-Pakistan tensions that led to the postponement of summits since 2016.


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