Thailand is the Lead Country for the Connectivity Sector.
The 'Connectivity' sector( former named as “ Transport and Communication” )
is one of the main 7 sectors in the area of cooperation in BIMSTEC since it was established in 1997. Recognizing the fact that Transport Connectivity is a fundamental requirement of the member states for regional cooperation and integration to accelerate economic growth and social development. A well-established transport network 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.
The Connectivity sector conducted its function/activities through the BIMSTEC Transport Connectivity Working Group (BTCWG). In addition, the other
two BIMSTEC Working Groups have been established to negotiate and work for the draft text of 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.
The outcome documents (Reports/ negotiated or finalized agreements)produced by the Working Groups of this sector usually placed to BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) for consideration, and then submitted to BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting (MM) for endorsement/approval. Finally, BIMSTEC Summit, apex body of BIMSTEC mechanism, adopts the documents.
The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity
The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity presents a comprehensive
10-year strategy and action plan (2018-2028) 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 development, (6) multimodal and intermodal transport, (7) trade facilitation, and (8) human resource development in the connectivity sector.
At the latest progress, the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 30 March has adopted the BIMSTEC Master Plan, and it will be implemented by all the Member States accordingly