BIMSTEC Charter: A Milestone in Regional Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Region

BIMSTEC Charter: A Milestone in Regional Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Region

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BIMSTEC also has a well-established institutional framework, consisting of core and regional mechanisms to build regional cooperation in the above areas. These include meetings at the levels of senior officials and ministers, as well as a number of working groups, expert groups and the BIMSTEC Centre.

At the 6th BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Bangkok later this year, the leaders are expected to adopt the ‘Bangkok Vision 2030’, which aims to achieve a ‘prosperous, resilient and open BIMSTEC’ by 2030. This is the first time that a time-bound vision will be adopted by BIMSTEC leaders, which will guide regional cooperation within the BIMSTEC framework.

Recognizing that the time has come to transform BIMSTEC, the leaders have constituted an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) and tasked it with making recommendations for reforming, revitalizing and repurposing BIMSTEC. The EPG is expected to submit its report to the leaders at their 6th Summit. Its recommendations are expected to usher in a new era of regional cooperation within BIMSTEC.

The BIMSTEC region is home to over 1.8 billion people, representing about 22% of the global population. The combined external trade of BIMSTEC member countries was estimated at US$1.95 trillion in 2022, while their combined GDP is projected to be US$4.5 trillion. These underscore the strategic importance of BIMSTEC to the Bay of Bengal region and as a regional organisation.

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