This Sector is led by Thailand
One of the issues emphasized in the BIMSTEC Summit was the interaction amongst the people in the BIMSTEC member countries through various exchange programs. Consequently, a part of the joint declaration made in the Summit stated that people-to-people contact was to be immediately supported through different exchange projects.
Before the Summit, Thailand started this cooperation by arranging the 1st BIMSTEC Youth Football Competition in February 2004 in Phuket. Accordingly, as a response to the requests made at the Summit, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated 4 projects aiming to promote people-to-people contact as follow
- Exploring BIMSTEC Cultural Ties in Thailand: aimed to enhance BIMSTEC cooperation in many sectors. BIMSTEC ambassador to Thailand, their representatives, official and media members were invited to a 3-day trip to Sukhothai, Phisanulok and Ayudaya during 11-13 February 2005
- BIMSTEC Young Ambassador Program: The program had been on hold since 2006 aiming to increase an awareness of BIMSTEC among the general public. So far, there are two groups of BIMSTEC Young Ambassador, 2005 and 2006.
- Getting to know the new BIMSTEC Member: Trip to Nepal and Bhutan was held during 3-10 September 2005. Delegations of officials, expert on history, arts and culture in Thailand and BIMSTEC Young Ambassadors traveled to the 2 new member countries to establish connections and exchange experiences.
- “BIMSTEC Week Exhibition: 10 Years of BIMSTEC Friendship and Cooperation” was held during 20 – 24 June 2007 at Thailand Knowledge Park (TK park), Central World Plaza. The exhibition contained presentation boards on the history and development of BIMSTEC, as well as booths of BIMSTEC countries will be displayed. There will be numerous activities organized daily in this area to stimulate interaction and participation from the visitors. In addition, there had Mini Theater 1 and 2 which showed the works of art of the 10 renowned Thai artists and experts who have joined in MFA’s projects the Walk of Wisdom and Getting to Know the New BIMSTEC Members, and ran VCD/DVD presentations of BIMSTEC countries.
- BIMSTEC Exhibition was held on 8 June 2008 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand. The exhibition contained presentation boards on the history and development of BIMSTEC and BIMSTEC countries booths were also displayed.