The Delhi Policy Group and Asia Foundation, organised a regional roundtable conference on April 26-27, 2018 on the theme “Advancing BIMSTEC Cooperation” at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The roundtable conference brought together the Secretary-General of BIMSTEC, Ambassador of Bhutan to India, Ambassador of Thailand to India, Charge d’Affaires of Nepal to India, representatives from the countries of BIMSTEC countries, policy makers and representatives from the civil society and scholars and experts in the area of study.
H.E. Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to India, delivered the special address on the first day of the roundtable conference. In his address, he started with a positive note that the regional cooperation of BIMSTEC is still relevant and BIMSTEC is part of building bloc for Indo-Pacific regional architecture, though the progress has been slow due to various challenges, especially at the implementation level. To strengthen BIMSTEC, His Excellency emphasised to build a BIMSTEC community by stressing on the need to implement BIMSTEC’s agenda. He also reiterated on prioritising on reaching out to other sources of finance out of BIMSTEC countries. The emphasis of Thailand in BIMSTEC, he reiterated, is on economic integration, including Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), connectivity and security cooperation, including maritime cooperation.
The New Delhi Roundtable, first of the three roundtable discussions on “Advancing BIMSTEC Regional Cooperation”, addressed the achievements and challenges of BIMSTEC. At the end of the second day of the conference, the participants formulated a concrete Plan of Action to be shared with Track 1.5 dialogue forum and Track 1 level officials at a later stage.
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Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi