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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

Like SAARC, the South and Southeast Asian BIMSTEC has also become another seven-nation grouping with the inclusion of Bhutan and Nepal in the first BIMSTEC Bangkok summit in 2004 and its 8th ministerial meeting will now take place in Dhaka on 19 December.
Morshed assumes BIMSTEC chair Dec 19: Dhaka wants early enforcement of FTA
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan who formally assumes BIMSTEC chair with the holding of its ministerial meeting here on December 19 said Dhaka wants early enforcement of the FTA in goods in the BIMSTEC region, as production base in Bangladesh is gradually expanding.
BIMSTEC to set up body for FTA enforcement
The ongoing eighth meeting of BIMSTEC trade-negotiation committee (TNC) has decided to set up a separate body to oversee the enforcement of free trade accord among the seven member states once it is finalized.
BIMSTEC trade meeting begins in Dhaka with focus on FTA
The Eighth BIMSTEC Trade Negotiation Committee meeting began in Dhaka today with the aim of developing a free trade agreement between member countries.
BIMSTEC trade experts to settle FTA issues in July 2006
Trade experts of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) are working on settling various issues pertaining to trade and investment in a bid to start a journey towards free trade area (FTA) among member countries from July 2006.
Demand for short FTA sensitive list
India on Tuesday moved a step closer towards finalising its negotiating strategy for the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Commerce Ministry continuing rigorous consultations with Indian industry for identifying the items of India’s export interest figuring in the "sensitive list’’ of other member countries.
India set to get access to Bimstec markets
India and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) member countries plan to sign a deal to provide access to each others’ markets for the pharmaceuticals and services sectors.
BIMSTEC meet on June 1: Six priority sectors to be discussed
A BIMSTEC Free Trade Area agreement was signed in last February. The agreement covers trade in goods, services and investment. Negotiations are progressing well on specific issues. The Agreement would come into force from July 2006.
Auto sector wary of Bimstec FTA
The domestic auto industry has asked the government to include completely-built units of all four-wheelers (including buses, trucks, MUVs and passenger cars) and two-wheelers (up to 250 cc) in the negative list for the free trade agreement (FTA) with the Bimstec regional block.
New wind in Bimstec: Negative list exchange for FTA in June
Officials of the member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) will meet in Colombo in the first week of June to exchange the negative lists of sensitive goods in the run up for a free trade pact among them.


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