Inaugural Ceremony of the BIMSTEC Secretariat



13 September 2014


Dhaka, Bangladesh


The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)—launched as a sub-regional grouping on 06 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration—was anchored with a permanent BIMSTEC Secretariat officially inaugurated in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 13 September 2014. Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh, led the inauguration ceremony also attended by His Excellency Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Honourable Foreign Minister of Bangladesh; His Excellency Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Honourable Finance Minister of Bangladesh; His Excellency Shahriar Alam, Honourable State Minister for Foreign Affairs; Ambassador Sumith Nakandala, Secretary General of BIMSTEC; Dignitaries of the Government of Bangladesh; Ambassadors/High Commissioners of the Resident Diplomatic Missions of the Member States, and other invited guests.

The decision to locate the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka was adopted in the 3rd BIMSTEC Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar in March 2014. Prior to the inauguration, the Secretariat became operational with the joining of the First Director Md. Shafiqur Rahman from Bangladesh on 21 July 2014, and became fully functional with the assumption of charge by His Excellency Sumith Nakandala as the First Secretary General of BIMSTEC from Sri Lanka on 10 August 2014.

Prime Minister Hasina, in her speech, termed 13 September 2014 as a historic one for Bangladesh and for BIMSTEC. Marking the beginning of a new journey toward greater and more intense cooperation for this unique organization, the Secretariat would become a hallmark of a proud partnership among the seven Member States across the Bay of Bengal. She congratulated the Secretary General, and expressed hope that Ambassador Nakandala would be able to provide the leadership to carry out the mandate of the organization. She also assured him of her full support in his endeavors toward the effective functioning of the Secretariat.

Foreign Minister Ali also reiterated Bangladesh’s deep commitment to the goals of the BIMSTEC, with the hope that BIMSTEC agenda would capitalize on the potential of the region, while Bangladesh Finance Minister Muhith underlined the need for early implementation of the Framework Agreement on BIMSTEC Free Trade Area signed in 2004 for wider cooperation in the region. Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Alam expressed gratitude to Member States for choosing Dhaka as the seat of the BIMSTEC Secretariat and urged Member States to work together towards transforming the organization into a dynamic body.

BIMSTEC Secretary General Ambassador Nakandala expressed deep appreciation to the dignitaries from the Government of Bangladesh for their respective undertakings, directives and support extended toward making the Secretariat a reality. He stated the absence of Secretariat had impeded on the progress of the organization for a long time. With the Secretariat is in existence, he looks forward to working with the Member States in realizing the goals enshrined in the Bangkok Declaration of 1997. He said the success of the organization would largely depend on the political commitments of the Member States.

A plaque of the BIMSTEC Secretariat was also unveiled by Prime Minister Hasina, along with commemorative postal stamps valued at TK 4 and TK 10, and data card valued at TK 5 released by the Postal Department in honor of the occasion. Heads of States/Government of the BIMSTEC Member States also sent their written congratulatory messages on the occasion.

The BIMSTEC Secretariat is at House Number-06, Road Number-53, Gulshan-2, in Dhaka City, Bangladesh's diplomatic area.


Officials and dignitaries from the Government of Bangladesh, Ambassadors/High Commissioners from Member States, and other invited guests.

Documents and Presentations