Greater cooperation among BIMSTEC nations need of hour: PM Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for greater cooperation among BIMSTEC nations, asserting that it is time to make the Bay of Bengal a bridge of connectivity, prosperity and security.

In his opening remarks at the fifth BIMSTEC Summit, Modi said the results of this landmark summit will write a golden chapter in BIMSTEC’s history.

He said India will provide USD 1 million (one million is equal to ten lakhs) in aid to augment operational budget of the BIMSTEC secretariat.

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Recent developments in Europe have raised question mark over stability of international order, Modi said.

In this context, it has become important to make BIMSTEC regional cooperation more active, he added.

Modi said that in order to increase mutual trade among BIMSTEC nations, it is important to move forward on the BIMSTEC FTA proposal.

With our region facing challenges of health and economic security, need of the hour is unity and cooperation, he asserted.

“Today is the time to make Bay of Bengal bridge of connectivity, bridge of prosperity, bridge of security,” he said.

Besides India, the BIMSTEC comprises Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.

The Summit will adopt the ‘BIMSTEC Charter’ which will give the grouping an international identity and lay out the basic institutional architecture through which it will carry out its work.

With 21.7 per cent of the world’s population and combined GDP of USD 3.8 trillion, the BIMSTEC has emerged as an influential engine of economic growth.

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