5th BIMSTEC Summit

The 5th BIMSTEC Summit was held on 30th March 2022 in Sri Lanka in a hybrid mode. Prior to this on 28th and 29th March, preparatory meetings were held at the Foreign Minister and Senior Official levels.

Outcomes of the BIMSTEC Summit

BIMSTEC Summit 2022’s main outcome was the BIMSTEC Charter’s adoption and signing. This charter formalizes the BIMSTEC grouping into an organization that will have a flag, an emblem, and formally listed principles that are to be adhered to by the member nations. The BIMSTEC leaders also oversaw the signing of 3 different BIMSTEC agreements that represent the progress being achieved by the group in the ongoing cooperation activities. Also, USD 1 million will be provided by India to the BIMSTEC secretariat for increasing its operational budget. The scope of the BIMSTEC scholarship program that is offered by the Nalanda International University is also being expanded.

The agreements signed

The agreements that were signed are:

  1. A BIMSTEC MoU on mutual cooperation for diplomatic training
  2. A BIMSTEC convention on mutual legal assistance related to criminal matters
  3. A MoA on the establishment of the BIMSTEC technology transfer facility.

Progress was also seen regarding the BIMSTEC connectivity agenda with the ‘Master Plan for Transport Connectivity’, being adopted. This plan lays out a framework of guidance for all the connectivity-related activities that will be implemented in this region in the near future.

Main topics of discussion

In this summit, discussions were held regarding the challenges that were faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, BIMSTEC’s progress as a regional group, the uncertainties that are being currently faced within the international system, as well as the establishment of basic mechanisms and institutional structures of the group.

The theme of the summit

“Towards a Resilient Region, Prosperous Economies, Healthy People” is the summit’s theme.

BIMSTEC member countries

India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Nepal are member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

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