PM Modi to attend virtual BIMSTEC summit on March 30

New Delhi, March 26 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the 5th BIMSTEC Summit on March 30 that is being hosted by Sri Lanka in virtual mode. To prepare for the Summit, meetings of BIMSTEC Senior Officials (SOM) will take place on March 28 followed by meetings of the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers (BMM) on March 29. The Covid pandemic related challenges, and the uncertainties within the international system that all BIMSTEC members are facing, imparts greater urgency to the goal of taking BIMSTEC technical and economic cooperation to the next level. This is expected to be the main subject of deliberations by Leaders at the Summit, an official statement said on Saturday. The Leaders are also expected to discuss the establishment of basic institutional structures and mechanisms of the group.The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) comprises seven members: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. The Colombo Summit is expected to approve the BIMSTEC Charter, BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity and BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. The group will also work towards finalisation of the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement and the Motor Vehicles Agreement. Among the seven members of the BIMSTEC, five are also members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). RN

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