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India asks BIMSTEC nations to work on strategy for financing master plan for transport connectivity

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 25, 2021

Foreign Secretary says progress on BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement, Motor Vehicles Agreement to enhance regional connectivity

India has called on other BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sector Technical & Economic Cooperation) countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand, to collectively develop a strategy for financing and implementing the $126-billion BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity. The plan seeks to create a seamless multimodal transport system across the region to enhance mobility of goods and people.

“We need to now collectively develop a strategy for financing and implementing the Transport Connectivity Master Plan. I am happy to note that work in this direction has already begun with ADB conducting the first consultative workshop on financing of the Master Plan last month,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla pointed out at the international symposium on BIMSTEC organised by ISCS Kolkata on Monday.

“The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity, finalised under India’s chairmanship of the expert group last year, envisages a seamless multimodal transport system across the region with efficient transit facilities to enhance the mobility of goods and people. This will stimulate intra-regional trade and investment in the region. It identifies 264 projects requiring an investment of $126 billion over a 10- year horizon from 2018–2028,” the Foreign Secretary said. Projects worth $55.2 billion are already at different stages of implementation.

The Member States have also made progress on finalising the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement and the Motor Vehicles Agreement, which would provide the legal framework for enhanced connectivity in the region, Shringla added.

India remains strongly committed to further building the momentum towards deepening of regional cooperation under the BIMSTEC framework and working towards making the organisation more effective and result-oriented, the Foreign Secretary said.

Published on October 25, 2021

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