(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Minister of Foreign Affairs M.U.M. Ali Sabry addressed the 19th Minister’s Meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held in virtual mode on 09 March 2023.
Addressing the meeting, Minister Ali Sabry stated that as the trajectory of global economic growth shifts towards Asia, the trade and investment component of the BIMSTEC countries needs to be revitalised to stay relevant. He further opined on the need to strengthen the collaborative efforts to enhance intra-regional trade focusing on each country’s comparative advantages, emphasising that BIMSTEC should take the lead in becoming a conduit to build a robust and dynamic private sector network to enhance the flow of trade and investment. In this context, the Minister reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment to working proactively in areas of trade and investment and extended Sri Lanka’s fullest support to build a transnational network of business entities which would spur intra-regional investments to create a transformative economic growth for all.
The meeting deliberated important agenda items such as the BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030, the Agreement on Maritime Transport Connectivity and the establishment of a Group of Eminent Persons of the BIMSTEC, among many others. Under the chairmanship of Thailand, the Ministerial Meeting was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand with the participation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BIMSTEC Member States, namely, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.