Kathmandu,10 Feb 2015: Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey has stressed the need of developing the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) as a tool of attaining economic progress of the country.
Opening a workshop on ‘Strengthened Economic Integration under the BIMSTEC: Opportunities and Challenges for Nepal’ organised by the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) in the capital Tuesday, MinisterÂ Pandey stressed that the dream of achieving rapid economic growth should be put in center and the country’s focus should be on taking high benefits from the organisation.
The BIMSTEC, an international organisation of seven countries– Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar and Thailand– from the South Asia and Southeast Asia could work as a bridge between the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) and it carries abundant potentiality for promoting mutual cooperation, he added.
Nepal is taking the chair of BIMSECT since its third Summit held last year in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar and the workshop is expected to be useful for the fourth Summit to be held in Nepal.
Chief Secretary Leelamani Poudyal expressed his view that BIMSTEC had an abundant potentiality for creating many new opportunities for socio-economic development in Nepal and laid an emphasis on collective efforts to fight against terrorism, intercountry crimes, smuggling of narcotic drugs and human trafficking linked with common interests of the BIMSTEC members.
Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Narayan Gopal Malego stressed that Nepal should create an atmosphere for bringing in investment from BIMSETEC members in the sectors of tourism, agriculture and hydropower.
Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shankardas Bairagi said BIMSTEC members are Nepal’s major trade partners and Nepal should develop a substantive action plan to improve its import ratio.
Institute Executive Director Rhishiraj Adhikari argued that trade cooperation and partnership among the BIMSTEC members be further consolidated to boost up country’s economy.
Former Secretary Purushottam Ojha presented a working paper on the topic and Foreign Ministry’s SAARC and BIMSTEC Division Chief Ramesh Khana, National Planning Commission former member Poshraj Pandey and Institute Broad of Directors member Kush Kumar Saha commented over it.