Combating of terrorism, transnational
organized crime and illicit drug trafficking
will feature prominently at the second
Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for
Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic
Cooperation (BIMSTEC) to be held at New
Delhi on November 13.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will attend the
Summit together with leaders from other
BIMSTEC states – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India,
Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The second BIMSTEC Summit, which comes after
four years since the first Summit was held
in Bangkok is scheduled to finalize several
agreements for the BIMSTEC region on energy,
culture, weather and climate especially
counter terrorism and transnational crime.
BIMSTEC was formed in Bangkok on June 6,
1997 as a new sub-regional grouping named
BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lankan and
Thailand Economic Cooperation). Myanmar
joined the Organization as a full member at
a Special Ministerial Meeting held in
Bangkok on 22 December 1997, upon which the
name of the grouping was changed to BIMST-EC.
Nepal was granted observer status by the
Second Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka in
December 1998. Subsequently, full membership
has been granted to Nepal and Bhutan in
At the first Summit on July 31, 2004,
leaders of the group agreed that the name of
the grouping should be known as BIMSTEC or
the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral
Technical and Economic Cooperation.
Seven members of BIMSTEC covers 13 Priority
Sectors lead by member countries in a
voluntary manner namely, Trade & Investment,
Technology, Energy, Transport
&Communication, Tourism, Fisheries,
Agriculture, Cultural Cooperation,
Environment and Disaster Management, Public
Health, People-to-People Contract, Poverty
Alleviation and Counter-Terrorism and
BIMSTEC brings together 1.4 billion people -
21 percent of the world population, a
combined GDP of US$750 billion, and a
considerable amount of complementarities.