UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 2 April 2022

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BIMSTEC AFTER THE COLOMBO SUMMIT

What the article is about?

  • Talks about the prospects of BIMSTEC post-Colombo summit.
  • Also, refer to snippets on 29th and 30th March 2022

Syllabus: GS-II International Relations, Regional groupings, India and its neighbourhood

BIMSTEC:

  • The 5th summit of BIMSTEC, held virtually in Colombo on March 30
  • BIMSTEC celebrates its 25th anniversary in June this year.
  • Representing a 5th of the world’s population that contributes only 4% of the global GDP.

Key Highlights of the summit:

  • BIMSTEC Charter:
    • The signing of the BIMSTEC Charter was the main outcome of this summit.
    • Under this Charter, the members were expected to meet once every two years.
    • With the Charter, the BIMSTEC now has an international personality. It has an emblem, it has a flag.
    • Member countries have agreed to divide the working of the grouping into seven segments:
      • trade, investment and development (Bangladesh);
      • environment and climate change (Bhutan);
      • security, including energy (India); agriculture and food security (Myanmar);
      • people-to-people contacts (Nepal);
      • science, technology and innovation (Sri Lanka), and
      • connectivity (Thailand).
  • Master Plan for Transport Connectivity:
    • Provide a framework for regional and domestic connectivity.
  • Other Agreements:
    • signed a treaty on mutual legal assistance on criminal matters.
    • A Memorandum of Association (MoA) on the establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    • India will provide the (BIMSTEC) secretariat USD 1 million US dollars to increase its operational budget.

Way Ahead:

  • BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement: Need for finalisation of the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement among the member countries.
  • The necessity for a coastal shipping ecosystem and electricity grid interconnectivity, as two of the necessary components of the evolving shape of BIMSTEC.
  • The quest for economic growth and the development of the BIMSTEC region can be achieved with a single-minded focus and cooperation among the member counties.



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