UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 9 April 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the potential of BIMSTEC in enhancing regional connectivity and interaction.

Syllabus: GS-II International relations, Regional Groupings and interactions

Refer snippets:- 29 and 30 March, 2 April 2022


  • The celebrations to mark the 25th year of BIMSTEC have been accompanied by the announcement of several new initiatives in the recent 5th summit.
  • 3 important outcomes:
    • Expanding the grouping’s agenda,
    • deepening cooperation between the member countries and
    • planning systematically for consistency and coherence.
  • The charter finalised last week articulates the purpose, principles and legal standing of the organisation.
  • It also delineates the process to admit new members – this requires the consensus of the members.
  • A similar procedure will be adopted for increasing the number of observer countries of the organisation.
    • One important provision in the charter is to keep regular meetings on track and provide enough scope to the BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee to keep the process energised.
  • The summit also succeeded in creating mechanisms to deepen cooperation.
  • Amongst the important decisions is the one related to the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity.
  • The council could also play a role in the projects being planned in the region.
  • Digitisation has enhanced cooperation in customs regulations and facilitated and improved cargo clearance procedures.
  • Similarly, the MoU for legal assistance in criminal matters and additional MoUs for mutual cooperation between diplomatic academics and training institutes would help in creating an ecosystem of deeper knowledge-related cooperation.
  • The technology transfer facility proposed in Colombo is likely to augment these efforts.
  • Establishing an Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) for formulating a vision document for the region will help in articulating the aspirations of the collective.
    • EPGs have been quite useful in the EU and ASEAN.
  • India will provide a $3 million grant to the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate, promote collaboration between industries and start-ups, and launch programmes that will help in the adoption of international standards and norms.
    • Delhi has also suggested a regional value chain based agricultural trade analysis – this will be conducted by the RIS.
    • The Asian Development Bank and the New Delhi-based ICRIER have stewarded awareness programmes on trade facilitating measures in the member countries.
  • Besides economic links, the Bay of Bengal countries shares a cultural and civilisational legacy. 

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