Momen determined to make BIMSTEC more effective

DHAKA, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said strong political determination is needed to make BIMSTEC more effective for maintaining sustainable and peaceful Bay of Bengal region.

I strongly believe that strong political determination and innovative initiative of the member states will make the organization (BIMSTEC) more efficient in the coming days, he said while speaking at a reception marking the 22nd anniversary of BIMSTEC in the capital.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan those dependent on Bay of Bengal

The BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka held the reception at its office in Gulshan on Tuesday night participated by diplomats of different countries.

Momen said Bangladesh has been deeply committed to BIMSTEC process since its inception.

Pursuing BIMSTEC integration for rapid economic and social progress for the people of this region is one of the top priorities of our foreign policy, he said and adding that hosting BIMSTEC secretariat in Dhaka is manifestation of that commitment.

Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's proposal to restructure the existing BIMSTEC cooperation under three priority clusters 'Sustainable Development', 'Security and Stability' and 'People to people contact', Momen said these will bring synergy, focus and speed in the BIMSTEC process.

He said more focus is needed on areas of trade and investment, connectivity, energy, security, agriculture, tourism, climate change and disaster management and people to people contacts among the member states to garner visible outcomes of BIMSTEC.

A sustainable and peaceful Bay of Bengal region could be ensured only when all these areas will produce results, he observed.

The foreign minister said Bangladesh is always committed to regional cooperation as Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman always dreamt of working together with the neighbours.

Under the leadership of his (Bangabandhu) able daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh continue to pursue regional cooperation as an engine for sustainable growth and economic integration, he said.

BIMSTEC Secretary General Ambassador M Shahidul Islam also spoke on the occasion.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)