Kathmandu: The 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting is being held in Kathmandu on coming Thursday. The meeting will be preceded by the 18th session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM).
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is scheduled to inaugurate the Ministerial Meeting and address the Meeting on 10th of August 2017. The Foreign/External Ministers are scheduled to have a collective call on the Prime Ministers on the same day, according to Mani Prasad Bhattarai, Head of regional organization division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign/External Affairs of the BIMSTEC Member States are expected to participate in the Meeting.
This Ministerial Meeting is being convened at a time when the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the BIMSTEC is being celebrated throughout this year and for the first time in Kathmandu after Nepal assumed the chairmanship of BIMSTEC in 2014.
On Friday, the Ministerial Meeting will review the progress and achievement in the identified 14 areas of cooperation like trade, investment, transport and communications, energy, tourism, agriculture, counter-terrorism, poverty alleviation, public health, environment and disaster and climate change. It is likely to take decisions for accelerating the momentum for stronger cooperation under BIMSTEC.
The same Meeting is likely to discuss and finalize the appropriate date and venue for holding the Fourth BIMSTEC Summit, added Mr Bhattarai.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara, as the leader of Nepali delegation, will chair the 15th Ministerial Meeting while Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi will chair the Eighteenth Session of BIMSTEC-SOM.
The Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is the sub-regional grouping comprising seven countries of South Asia and South East Asia. Nepal is the current Chair and its headquarters/Secretariat is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.