President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Myanmar today (March 03) to participate in the summit meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Conference.
Leaders of the other member Asian States of the BIMSTEC; Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal will also attend to this conference.
The President will meet Indian Premier Manmohan Singh and Myanmar leaders on the sidelines of the sub-regional grouping.
The first BIMSTEC summit was held in Bangkok in 2004 and the second was held in New Delhi in 2008. The group plans to create a free trade area before 2018. And it aims to create cooperation in multiple sectors including trade, investment and energy.
The BIMSTEC has devided into sub groups which give priority to several sectors. Accordingly, Bangladesh leads the groups in trading and investment, India in transportation and travel, Myanmar in energy and agriculture, Sri Lanka leads in technology, Thailand in fisheries, Nepal in anti-poverty and Bhutan in cultural affairs.