Areas of Cooperation

BIMSTEC Priority Sectors

Six priority sectors of cooperation were identified at the 2nd Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka on 19 November 1998. They include the followings:

  1. Trade & Investment
  2. Transport & Communication
  3. Energy
  4. Tourism
  5. Technology
  6. Fisheries

After the 8th Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka on 18-19 December 2005, a number of new areas of cooperation emerged. The number of priority sectors of cooperation increased from 6 to 13. The 7 new sectors were discussed in the 1st BIMSTEC Summit and there has been various activities to enhance those co-operations ever since.The sectors are as follows;

  1. Agriculture
  2. Public Health
  3. Poverty Alleviation
  4. Counter-Terrorism & Transnational Crime
  5. Environment & Disaster Management
  6. People-to-People Contact
  7. Cultural Cooperation

The thirteenth Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting recommended the inclusion of Climate Change as the 14th priority area of cooperation. The eleventh BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting held in New Delhi in November 2008 endorsed this recommendation.

  1. Climate Change
Sectors Lead Countries
  1. Trade & Investment/Sub-sector Bangladesh
  2. Technology/Sub-sector Sri Lanka
  3. Energy/Sub-sector Myanmar
  4. Transportation & Communication/Sub-sector India
  5. Tourism/Sub-sector India
  6. Fisheries/Sub-sector Thailand
  7. Agriculture/Sub-sector Myanmar
  8. Cultural Cooperation/Sub-sector Bhutan
 9. Environment and Disaster Management/Sub-sector India
10. Public Health/Sub-sector Thailand
11. People-to-People Contact/Sub-sector Thailand
12. Poverty Alleviation/Sub-sector Nepal
13. Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime/Sub-sector India
14. Climate Change Bangladesh

Roles and Functions of Lead Country

  1. Where sub-sectors have been identified, the designated Chair Countries will seek to identify specific projects for facilitating cooperation.
  2. The Chair Country will function in consultation with an Expert Group drawn from member countries.
  3. The Chair Country will chair and coordinate the work of the Expert Group, and perform secretarial functions if the Expert Group in such  a way as to ensure the satisfactory and successful implementation of the projects and to monitor the progress of the work.
  4. The members of the Expert Group will be in regular contact through correspondence, fax, e-mail, etc. and will meet whenever  deemed necessary.
  5. The Expert Group will coordinate, monitor and review progress in projects being implemented and will report on the same to the Sectoral Committee.
  6. The Expert Group may invite such representatives from the public/private sector and regional/international organizations to its meetings whenever deemed appropriate.
  7. The sub-sector Chair Country position will rotate between members every three years.