PTI | Mar 4, 2014
BIMSTEC leaders resolve to expedite agreement on trade
Nay Pyi Taw: 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 BIMSTEC Trade Negotiating Committee (should) expedite its work for conclusion of the Agreement on Trade in Goods by the end of 2014 and to continue efforts for early finalisation of the Agreement on Services and Investments," said the declaration issued at the conclusion of the 3rd BIMSTEC Summit in Nay Pyi Taw.
BIMSTEC leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, resolved to move ahead with the proposal to ink agreements on dispute settlement and cooperation in customs matters under the Free Trade Area framework.
It was also agreed to enhance cooperation in expanding the skill and technology base of member countries through collaborations and partnerships targeted towards micro, small and medium scale enterprises.
The leaders agreed to accelerate efforts for the early finalisation of a framework for establishment of the BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility.
In order to promote regional cooperation in the energy sector, it was decided to hold the third edition of the BIMSTEC Energy Ministerial meeting in Nepal in 2014 and the fourth one in Bhutan in 2015.
The leaders expressed satisfaction over the development of physical connectivity in the BIMSTEC region and the progress made in updating the ADB-supported BTILS (BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistic Study).
The Asian Development Bank study is designed to help promote and improve transport infrastructure and logistics among countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
As regards tourism, the declaration encouraged member countries to tap the enormous potential of the region by enhancing cooperation and greater engagement of the private sector.