Home / Opinion and Issues/ BIMSTEC leaders decide organisation revival as SL assumes chairmanship

BIMSTEC leaders decide organisation revival as SL assumes chairmanship

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 3 September 2018 00:00

Sri Lanka was handed over the chairmanship of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) at the conclusion of the fourth BIMSTEC Summit held in Kathmandu on 31 August.

Accepting the chairmanship of BIMSTEC from the Prime Minister of Nepal K. P. Sharma Oli, President Maithripala Sirisena thanked all Member States for the trust and confidence placed in Sri Lanka, and said that Sri Lanka looks forward to implementing the ambitious agenda set forth by the Kathmandu Summit. Congratulating the new Chairman, all BIMSTEC leaders expressed confidence that the organisation will move forward with strength under the leadership of President Sirisena. Accordingly, the fifth BIMSTEC Summit will be held in Sri Lanka. 

Earlier on 31 August, adopting the Kathmandu Summit Declaration ‘Towards a Peaceful, Prosperous and Sustainable Bay of Bengal Region’, the Presidents of Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the Prime Ministers of India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand, and the Chief Advisor of the Government of Bhutan agreed to review, restructure and rationalise the existing areas of cooperation of BIMSTEC and to streamline the operational modalities for activities, programs and projects to achieve tangible results. The Declaration also welcomed Sri Lanka as the new Chair of BIMSTEC.

The Summit also laid the foundation for institutional mechanisms to accelerate the BIMSTEC process. The leaders agreed to establish a BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee (BPWC) to draft a Charter for the organisation, develop Rules of Procedures for BIMSTEC Mechanisms and Centres, and to explore the possibility of establishing a BIMSTEC Development Fund.

The memorandum of understanding on BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection was signed by State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake on behalf of Sri Lanka, alongside Foreign Ministers and State Ministers of BIMSTEC countries at a signing ceremony witnessed by the leaders. 

The Summit Declaration also expressed appreciation to Ambassador Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka, the first Secretary-General of BIMSTEC, for his valuable contribution in advancing the work of the organisation during his tenure.

The Sri Lanka Delegation to the fourth BIMSTEC Summit included State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Nepal Swarna Perera, Foreign Ministry Acting Additional Secretary – Economic Affairs and Trade Ravinatha Aryasinha, and Director-General – Economic Affairs Saroja Sirisena.

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Constitutional paradox: There is no such thing called Election Commission

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Our Constitution, which was certified by Parliament on 31 August 1978, has 19 amendments; the First Amendment to the Constitution was certified by the Speaker in the same year on 20 November. By the end of 1988, there had been 14 amendments made to t

‘So Sri Lanka’ – upgrade staff, processes, infrastructure at BIA arrivals to be world’s best!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

24 October, time 12:47 p.m., place – my residence in Colombo My phone buzzes with a WhatsApp message from my old colleague Prasad Fernanado now with Saudi British Bank in Saudi. I am thrilled to see the message ‘Sri Lanka top country for travel i

Qatar crisis: From the Sri Lankans’ point of view

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The aim of this article is to examine the Saudi blockade over Qatar and its impact in the past 17 months on the country. A special focus will be given to the Sri Lankan workers who have been living in Qatar for the past two decades. The reason why th

The reality of Sri Lanka – household end!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Whilst Sri Lanka is debating what is right and wrong on the governance of the country, the Sri Lankan household is falling part due to escalating costs, as per the latest data released by respected research agency Nielsen. For the seventh quarter in

Columnists More