BIMSTEC in Colombo | Sunday Observer

BIMSTEC in Colombo

The first meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Permanent Working Committee (BPWC) was held in Colombo recently, with the participation of all Member States and the Secretary General.

The BPWC was set up to deal with administrative and financial matters of the BIMSTEC Secretariat, Centres and Entities after the Fourth Summit, in Kathmandu. The first BIMSTEC meeting hosted by Sri Lanka after assuming Chairmanship of the organisation, was chaired by Saroja Sirisena Director General, Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Inaugurating the first BPWC, Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka Ravinatha Aryasinha reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment towards achieving BIMSTEC objectives and steering the common goals of the organisation by strengthening its institutional framework.

BIMSTEC Secretary General, M Shahidul Islam expressed deep gratitude to the Government for hosting the First BPWC and emphasised the importance of the Meeting.

The first BPWC was to deliberate on key issues such as the organisation’s Charter, Rules of Procedure for its Mechanisms, the Development Fund, rationalisation of areas of cooperation and strengthening its Secretariat. The meeting also finalised the draft Terms of References (ToR) for the BIMSTEC Network of Policy Think Tanks (BNPTT). Sri Lanka, the lead country for the Technology sector, highlighted its resolve to effectively implement the BIMSTEC Technological Transfer Facility in the country and announced the hosting of the core BIMSTEC meetings in 2019.

Secretary General, M Shahidul Islam called on Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, on the side-lines of the Meeting to discuss BIMSTEC’s pivotal role in strengthening regional cooperation acting as a bridge between South East Asia and South Asia.

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