At Colombo, Sri Lanka
The Fifth Summit of Heads of State/ Government of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday 30 March 2022 in virtual format. The delegations of the respective Member States of BIMSTEC to the 5th Summit were led by H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Lotay Tshering, Prime Minister of Bhutan, H.E. Shri Narendra Modi,Prime Minister of India, H.E. Wunna Maung Lwin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, Rt. Hon. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal, H.E. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, and H.E. Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand.
The key outcome of the Summit was the signature and adoption of the BIMSTEC Charter.
The Leaders also witnessed the signing of the following legal instruments:
-The BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters;
-The Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation between Diplomatic Academies/ Training Institutions of BIMSTEC Member States; and
-The Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility in Colombo
The Summit also adopted the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity
The Secretary General of BIMSTEC, H.E. Tenzin Lekphell, in his remarks presenting the Secretary General’s Report to the Summit, outlined progress made since the Fourth Summit held in Kathmandu in 2018, and expressed hope that the implementation of the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity which identifies 267 projects worth USD 124 billion would be a game changer for connectivity in the BIMSTEC region. The Secretary General also expressed hope that the Free Trade Area negotiations would reach a conclusion so that the peoples of the BIMSTEC region could reap the full benefits of trade and seamless movement of goods and people.
As this year marks the 25th anniversary of BIMSTEC, the Secretary General stated that it provides a useful opportunity for the Organisation to engage in some introspection and reflection, as it charts its way forward, and suggested that BIMSTEC may consider prioritizing areas of focus that will bring quick benefits to the peoples of the region, and a more efficient decision-making process that will accelerate achievement of the targets set by the Summits, thereby enabling a result oriented BIMSTEC. He expressed hope that a high-level Group of Eminent Persons could be formed to undertake such an exercise and make recommendations to the Senior Officials and the BIMSTEC Ministers, for their consideration.
The full video of the proceedings of the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit can be viewed online at:
Link 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBATrKQrFfU
Link 2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avnyv2_rG2o&t=15s
Link 3 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGSDdpaG13I&t=18s
Declaration of the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit
Statements by the Heads of State/ Government/ Representatives at the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit: