The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, groups together Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The seven-country forum aims to achieve its own free trade area by 2017.
last update: May 2012
Members of the Trade Negotiating Committee of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), a regional bloc of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, are going to meet in Bangkok between 7-9, September 2015, for working on a functional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among member countries.
Bangladesh hopes that the much-expected BIMSTEC FTA (between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand) will be finalised this year.
Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’s lack of concrete achievement points to the need for greater political will and clarity of purpose
Urging the seven-member BIMSTEC grouping to fast-track trade and economic cooperation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday called for “early conclusion” of the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement and said it should be extended to investment and services.
BIMSTEC leaders today resolved to expeditiously conclude an agreement on trade in goods to promote commerce among member nations India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal.
The long forgotten traditional links including the historic Stilwell Road connecting the North-east and the neighbouring countries have emerged as critical to connecting South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The BIMSTEC member countries have decided to establish a free trade area (FTA) for transaction in goods from July next year. If established, the FTA would be two years behind its original deadline, trade official said.
Thailand today said it will push for the conclusion of a free trade agreement with India and other members of Bimstec by July, enabling tariff reduction next year.
India took its trade diplomacy up several notches with negotiators wrapping up a free trade deal in goods with other BIMSTEC countries, ie. Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal.
Pitching for early conclusion of the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said countries in Asia should give a new strategic thrust to the cooperation in the backdrop of global financial crisis.