BIMSTEC Leaders invited to PM Modi Swearing-In

Prime Minister Modi has invited leaders of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries along with those from the Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius for his swearing-in ceremony to be held on May 30. The Swearing ceremony for the first tenure saw the participation of SAARC leaders including Pakistan.

Significance of the Invite

  • Invite to the leader of the Kyrgyz Republic (which is the current chair of the SCO) demonstrates India s outreach to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). It also advances India s strategic objectives viz. counter-terrorism and connectivity.
  • Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth is one of the most well-placed People of Indian Origin. His invite testifies the outreach to the Indian diaspora.
  • After India s repeated failure to engage effectively with Pakistan due to the consistent support from Pakistani state and non-state actors for terrorist groups, SAARC has taken the beating. BIMSTEC is seen as an Indian move to engage constructively in neighbourhood sidelining Pakistan.

The invite to BIMSTEC countries, Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius is a carefully calibrated diplomatic move that signals a major outreach to India s neighbourhood from the Bay of Bengal to Central Asia, as well as the Indian diaspora across the world.

BIMSTEC

BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is a regional organization which comprises seven Member States which are lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.

BIMSTEC came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. 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 which is a sector-driven cooperative organization 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.

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