Give a brief overview of BIMSTEC explaining its significance for India.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation is a�regional organization which consists of seven Member States. All members are lying in the adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.

  • It came into being on 6 June 1997 through the�Bangkok Declaration
  • It constitutes seven Member States including�Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand
  • The economic bloc was formed with four Member States as �BIST-EC�
  • The inclusion of Myanmar took place on 22 December 1997 and the Group was renamed �BIMST-EC�
  • With the Inclusion of Nepal and Bhutan at the 6th Ministerial Meeting in 2004, the name of the grouping was changed to BIMSTEC

Significance of BIMSTEC for India

  • BIMSTEC connects not only South and Southeast Asia, but also the ecologies of the Great Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal
  • The objective of BIMSTEC was to achieve shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests
  • It is a natural platform to fulfil our key foreign policy priorities of��Neighborhood First� and �Act East
  • As China is taking interest in the Bay of Bengal region, with increased submarine movement and ship visits in the Indian Ocean, it is necessary for India to consolidate its internal engagement among the BIMSTEC countries

India has invited several heads of state, including those from the Bay of Bengal community (BIMSTEC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), for Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s swearing-in ceremony on May 30.


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