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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
Photo: Palácio do Planalto/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Bimstec Free Trade Agreement on anvil
A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) amongst Bimstec region is in the pipeline, according to Mr Yogendra Kumar, additional secretary, ministry of external affairs.
BIMSTEC parley begins tomorrow
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will attend the summit conference of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to be held in New Delhi on November 13. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is also scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with India’s Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
BIMSTEC meet to positively impact India’s northeast region
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand established in 1997 is a $810 billion economy, sharing about 22% of world population and 3.64% of surface area. After a gap of three years, India is going to host the second BIMSTEC summit during November 11-13, 2008 at New Delhi. The last summit was held in Bangkok in 2004. The summit-level meeting in BIMSTEC was delayed mainly due to political reasons and non-cooperation of some of the member countries.
BIMSTEC can be a bridge between South & Southeast Asia
Bangladesh feels that the BIMSTEC has immense potential for creating greater economic interaction, flow of trade and investment among the member states, though its FTA has yet to be finalised.
Bimstec meet will focus on poverty, food security
Seven countries of the Bay of Bengal rim will plan a common agenda for agriculture development to ensure food security and measures aimed at poverty alleviation at their first ministerial meeting here on 9 July.
Minority opinion
It remains unclear to me what the advantages of being part of the Saarc grouping are over entering into bilateral relations with each individual Saarc country instead. I have always like the concept of Bimstec instead.
India forms new SA trade bloc sans Pak
In what is being described as a success for India and a "failure and punishment for Pakistan" on the economic diplomacy front, India has formed a regional trading bloc excluding Islamabad, and including all the SAFTA members, besides Thailand.
Stalled trade negotiations under BIMSTEC
The next meeting of the Trade Negotiation Committee (TNC) of BIMSTEC is hanging in the balance due to inability of the member countries to fix a date for reviewing the progress of the previous meetings.
India to document revenue loss due to NTBs in Bimstec trade
Concerned over the possibility of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) of Bimstec nations becoming an obstacle to the projected 74% jump in India’s exports to them from 2003 figures, the government will soon collect data regarding the current and future revenue loss incurred due to the NTBs.
BIMSTEC meet sets early deadline for FTA
Foreign Ministers from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Economic and Technical Cooperation have agreed that negotiations to finalise a BIMSTEC free trade agreement should be concluded before the next BIMSTEC summit scheduled to be held early next year in India.


    Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation (also includes Nepal and Bhutan)