BIMSTEC meet: India wants talks on coastal shipping, motor vehicle agreement to be expedited

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 01, 2021

S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs,   -  The Hindu

Jaishankar says New Delhi to invite BIMSTEC countries to ‘International Buddhist Conclave’

India has stressed on the need for expediting a Coastal Shipping Agreement and Motor Vehicle Agreement amongst BIMSTEC countries and endorsed the finalisation of the master plan for transport connectivity.

“We need to put in place a legal framework for smooth connectivity in the region by finalising the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement and the Motor Vehicles Agreement at an early date,” said S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, at the 17th Ministerial meeting of BIMSTEC countries held virtually on Thursday.

BIMSTEC is a regional organisation comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

The Minister said robust connectivity was an essential pre-requisite for economic integration of the region with smooth cross-border movement of people and goods. “I am delighted that the Member States have finalised the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity which is expected to be adopted at the fifth BIMSTEC Summit,” he said. The BIMSTEC Summit is likely in Sri Lanka later this year.

Pointing out that the group’s collaboration in intra-regional tourism has been badly hit by the Covid pandemic, the Minister said that as the situation normalised, members should lay focus on promoting the BIMSTEC Brand of Tourism and develop modalities for utilisation of BIMSTEC Tourism Fund.

He said that India planned to invite BIMSTEC countries as guest of honour partners at the ‘International Buddhist Conclave’ later this year subject to normalisation of the pandemic situation.

Published on April 01, 2021

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