This sector is led by Nepal.
Poverty reduction was the topic to which Leaders devoted the most time during the Summit Retreat. The meeting addressed the importance of poverty alleviation. The Prime Minister of Thailand suggested that the measures applied must focus on the poor, namely cutting expenses, increasing income and working opportunities. In this connection, Thailand is prepared to provide credit line to BIMSTEC countries for importing Thai agricultural products. Each country shared his or her practical experience in their respective country.
They emphasized the importance of empowerment, including through education and self-employment, rural development, access to credit, the role of women, and making poor people bankable. Furthermore, they recognized the need to improve health care and the involvement of the private sector. They agreed that these experiences should be taken up at the Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Eradication.
The BIMSTEC Meeting on Poverty Alleviation is being held after the 9th Ministerial Meeting convened on 9 August 2006 in New Delhi. At the Meeting, Nepal offered to be the Lead Country for this section. Bangladesh offered to host the First Ministerial Meeting and the Dhaka's proposal was approved in the wake of Bangladesh's vast experience with poverty alleviation initiatives such as the micro-credit.
In addition, Thailand’s “Sufficiency Economy” philosophy, a successful model proven by Thai economic development, was offered to be shared its experiences in combating poverty. The forthcoming Ministerial Meeting would adopt a comprehensive plan of action in keeping with the development goals.