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BIMSTEC Countries, List, Map, Flag, Full Form, Significance, Summit

BIMSTEC

BIMSTEC is a multilateral regional organisation. Members of this regional unity are located along the littoral and in nearby areas of the Bay of Bengal. BIMSTEC includes not only South and Southeast Asia but also the Great Himalayan and Bay of Bengal ecologies. Its primary goals are to foster cooperation on issues of regional importance, accelerate social advancement, and create an atmosphere that is conducive to rapid economic development. BIMSTEC, which comprises 21.7% of the global population and has a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 3.8 trillion, has become a significant contributor to the world’s economy.

Read More:  SAARC Countries

BIMSTEC Countries

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) comprising Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The main objective of the regional group was the promotion of economic cooperation between countries bordering the Bay of Bengal region.

Read More: NATO Countries

BIMSTEC Full Form

BIMSTEC is an acronym for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. The grouping was renamed during the First Summit in Bangkok on 31 July 2004 from BIST-EC to BIMSTEC.

BIMSTEC Headquarters

BIMSTEC headquarters is located in Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka that was established on 06 June 1997 when the Bangkok Declaration was signed.

BIMSTEC Countries List

There are 7 member countries in the BIMSTEC organization. Out of the 7 members, Five are from South Asia i.e., Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and Two are from Southeast Asia i.e., Myanmar and Thailand.

S. No. Name of BIMSTEC Countries Capital City
1. Bangladesh Dhaka/Dacca
2. Bhutan Thimphu
3. India New Delhi
4. Nepal Kathmandu
5. Sri Lanka Colombo (Executive and Judicial);
Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte (Legislative)
6. Myanmar Naypyidaw
7. Thailand Bangkok

BIMSTEC Countries Map

For a better understanding, refer to the following BIMSTEC Countries Map below:

BIMSTEC Map

BIMSTEC Summit 2022

The fifth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 30th March 2022. Some Key Highlights of the Summit are:

  • The major finding of this meeting was the signing of the BIMSTEC Charter. The members were required by this Charter to convene once every two years. The BIMSTEC has acquired a global presence as a result of the Charter. It has both an emblem and a flag.
  • The Master Plan for Transport Connections, which would serve as a foundation for domestic and regional connectivity, was announced at the summit.
  • A pact on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters was also signed by member nations.
  • A Memorandum of Association (MoA) on the formation of the Colombo, Sri Lanka-based BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF).
  • India will contribute $1 million USD to the (BIMSTEC) secretariat to boost its operating budget.
  • The leaders of the member nations have decided to divide the functioning of the grouping into seven sectors, with India serving as the lead for the security pillar, in keeping with the growth of the organisation into a formal structure.

Area of Cooperation in BIMSTEC

Cooperation within BIMSTEC, which is a sector-driven organisation, was initially concentrated on six sectors in 1997 (trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism, and fisheries), and it was expanded to include agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counterterrorism, environment, culture, people-to-people contact, and climate change in 2008. Following efforts to rationalise and reorganise sectors and sub-sectors, cooperation was structured in 2021 under the sectors and sub-sectors listed below, each of which was headed by a different Member State:

Member Country Sectors
Bangladesh Trade, Investment and Development
Bhutan Environment & Climate Change
India Security: Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime, Energy and Disaster Management
Nepal People-to-People Contact: Tourism, Culture, (forums of think tanks, media etc.)
Sri Lanka Science, Technology & Innovation (Human Resource Development, Health, Technology)
Myanmar Agriculture and Food Security (Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries)
Thailand Connectivity

BIMSTEC Flag

The BIMSTEC Flag is a symbolic representation of the member states’ solidarity and adherence to the organization’s guiding principles.

BIMSTEC Flag

BIMSTEC History

The Bangkok Declaration, which founded the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), was signed on June 6, 1997. With the inclusion of Myanmar on December 22, 1997, and Bhutan and Nepal in February 2004, the organisation that was formerly known as BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation) has changed its name to BIMSTEC and currently includes seven Member States.

On June 6, 1997, representatives from the governments of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand met in Bangkok to sign the “Declaration on the Establishment of the Bangladesh-India-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIST-EC)”. The institutional development of BIMSTEC has been gradual. The BIMSTEC Secretariat was established in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in the same year as a result of a decision made at the Third BIMSTEC Summit in 2014, offering an organised framework for promoting and deepening cooperation.

Institutional Mechanisms of BIMSTEC

  • BIMSTEC Summit
  • Ministerial Meeting
  • Senior Officials’ Meeting
  • BIMSTEC Working Group
  • Business Forum & Economic Forum

BIMSTEC Purposes

  • To create and implement targeted cooperation initiatives in the areas of cooperation that have already been agreed upon as well as any additional areas that the Member States may decide upon in order to foster an environment that is conducive to rapid economic development. The areas of cooperation may be reviewed by Member States on a regular basis.
  • Enhance social and economic development in the Bay of Bengal region via collaborative efforts conducted in a spirit of equality and partnership.
  • To encourage active cooperation and reciprocal help on issues of shared interest in the realms of economics, society, technology, and science.
  • To collaborate with one another to build training and research centres for the academic, professional, and technological fields.
  • To collaborate with one another to build training and research centres for the academic, professional, and technological fields.
  • To more effectively collaborate in projects that support and complement the national development strategies of the Member States and raise real living conditions for the populace, particularly by creating jobs and enhancing infrastructure for transportation and communication.
  • To collaborate on projects that could be managed most effectively regionally among the BIMSTEC Member States and that best utilise the synergies available.
  • To make an effort to alleviate poverty in the Bay of Bengal region.
  • To promote trade and investment as key drivers of the region’s economic and social development.

BIMSTEC Principles

Respect for the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, non-interference in internal affairs, non-aggression, peaceful coexistence, reciprocal respect, and mutual benefit shall serve as the foundation for cooperation within the BIMSTEC.

Bilateral, sub-regional, regional, and multilateral cooperation involving the Member States will be supported by and not replaced by cooperation within the BIMSTEC.

Significance of BIMSTEC for India

  • BIMSTEC permits India to carry out 3 main policies Act East Policy (connect Southeast Asia and India), Neighborhood First Policy (the country’s near periphery should take precedence) and Northeastern Indian regions’ economic development via connecting them to the Bay of Bengal region via Bangladesh and Myanmar.
  • As the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) begins to break down due to disputes between India and Pakistan, India needs a new forum to interact with its neighbours.
  • BIMSTEC enables India to combat China’s escalating influence in countries bordering the Bay of Bengal as a result of the Belt and Road Initiative’s expansion.

BIMSTEC Countries FAQs

Q. How many countries is BIMSTEC?

Ans. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand comprise the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Q. Who is the head of BIMSTEC?

Ans. Tenzin Lekphell is the Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Q. Which country was the host of the BIMSTEC summit in 2022?

Ans. In 2022, Sri Lanka served as the host country for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit.

Q. Who founded BIMSTEC?

Ans. Through the Bangkok Declaration, a sub-regional organisation was established in 1997. With the acronym “BIST-EC,” it was established with four Member States (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).

Q. Which country joined BIMSTEC last?

Ans. Nepal and Bhutan joined BIMSTEC in 2004 and expand the strength of the BIMSTEC organisation.

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FAQs

How many countries is BIMSTEC?

Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand comprise the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Who is the head of BIMSTEC?

Tenzin Lekphell is the Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

Which country was the host of the BIMSTEC summit in 2022?

In 2022, Sri Lanka served as the host country for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit.

Who founded BIMSTEC?

Through the Bangkok Declaration, a sub-regional organisation was established in 1997. With the acronym "BIST-EC," it was established with four Member States (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).

Which country joined BIMSTEC last?

Nepal and Bhutan joined BIMSTEC in 2004 and expand the strength of the BIMSTEC organisation.

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