Cultural Cooperation

This Sector is led by Bhutan.

The First BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on Culture was held from 23-25 May 2006 in Paro, Bhutan. The Ministerial Meeting was preceded by the First Meeting of BIMSTEC Culture Secretaries/Experts from 22 – 23 May 2006. The Meeting of BIMSTEC Culture Secretaries/Experts focused their deliberations on the Concept Paper on Cultural Industries presented by Bhutan.

The Concept Paper articulates a vision, identifies opportunities, drivers and strategies that will serve as a roadmap for socio-economic development, driven by creative cultural industries of the BIMSTEC region. In this regard, the Meeting emphasized the need for the development and promotion of cultural industries towards poverty reduction and community vitalization.

The Concept Paper on Cultural Industries was adopted by the Ministers and is now referred to as the Paro Initiative. The need to expand the scope of cooperation in culture to other important areas, including cultural values, diversity and cultural heritage was also recognized. It was agreed that Bhutan will host the BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Observatory (BCIO).


  1. 1st Ministerial Meeting on Culture, Paro, May 23-25, 2006