Thailand is the Lead Country for the Connectivity Sector.

The 'Connectivity' sector (formerly named as “Transport and Communication” sector) is one of the main seven sectors in the areas of cooperation in BIMSTEC since it was established in 1997. Recognized as vital by Member States, connectivity plays a pivotal role in fostering regional cooperation and integration to accelerate economic growth and social development. A well-established network across road, rail, air and maritime is a prerequisite for reaping the benefits of a free trade area, including the promotion of trade and investment, as well as progress in other areas of cooperation such as tourism, people-to-people contact, and cultural exchange.      

Institutional Mechanism 
The Connectivity sector will be conducted its function/activities through the BIMSTEC Transport Connectivity Working Group (BTCWG). Furthermore, two additional BIMSTEC Working Groups have been established to negotiate the draft text of the BIMSTEC Agreement on Maritime Transport Cooperation (previously named as the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement), and the draft text of the BIMSTEC Motor Vehicles Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic between and among BIMSTEC Member States, respectively.

Adoption Procedure
The outcome documents (reports/negotiated or finalized agreements) produced by the Working Groups of this Sector are usually placed to BIMSTEC Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM) for consideration, and then submitted to BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting (MM) for endorsement/approval. Finally, the BIMSTEC Summit, the apex body of BIMSTEC mechanism, adopts the documents.  

BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity

The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity presents a comprehensive 10-year strategy (2018-2028), and action plan supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for improving the sub region’s transport linkages covering (1) roads and road transport, (2) railways and rail transport, (3) ports and maritime transport, (4) inland water transport, (5) civil aviation and airports, (6) multimodal and intermodal transport, (7) trade facilitation, and (8) human resource development in the Connectivity Sector. The BIMSTEC Master Plan was formally adopted at the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 30 March 2022.