(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute organized the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) on the 4 October, 2022.
This event, held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, was supported by the South Asia Network of Economic Modelling (SANEM) and InReach Global.
Participating at the event as the keynote speaker, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya stated that it was indeed a special occasion for Sri Lanka to host this event after almost six months following the 5th BIMSTEC Summit which was held in March this year in Sri Lanka.
The State Minister’s keynote address dwelled on the aspects of the contribution in the past by the BIMSTEC as an organization and the relevance and significance of BIMSTEC today.
State Minister Balasuriya in his address noted that the region is amongst the fastest growing economies in the world and that the BIMSTEC has common culture, common religious practices, a rich history and well documented civilizational links, amongst others.
The State Minister reiterated that the success of any regional bloc would be based on its contribution to the well-being of the peoples of its Member States and said that he is of strong conviction that with the upcoming working agendas, BIMSTEC would be able to attain this objective and also propel the organization towards the noble responsibility of extending service to the peoples of Member countries..
The opening remark of the event was delivered by Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Prof. Saj U. Mendis.
This commemoration also hosted two Panel Discussions moderated by the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Manorie Mallikaratchy and a leading economist Dr. Nihal Pitigala. The eminent panelists included former Secretary, Foreign Affairs Ravinatha Aryasinha, former Secretary General of BIMSTEC Sumith Nakandala, Executive Director of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute Dr. Laksiri Mendis, Senior Professor Hemanthi Ranasinghe and other officials attached to the Ministry of Defence, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the private sector.
The panelists discussed the progress of the BIMSTEC over the last 25 years and its relevance today.
The event was attended by the diplomatic corps, academia and government officials.