Bangladesh has expressed its "strong commitment" to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) process and urged the members to work closely for finalising all the relevant agreements at the earliest so that BIMSTEC Free Trade Area could be implemented without further delay.
The 23rd BIMSTEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) was held online in Thailand's Bangkok Wednesday.
The foreign secretaries of the BIMSTEC members attended the meeting. Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen led the country's delegation to the meeting.
Masud informed the meeting about the progress made in the trade, investment and development sector for which Bangladesh is the lead country.
The meeting took stock of the progress made so far since the 22nd SOM held in March 2022, including the implementation of various decisions made during the 5th Summit.
Also, it endorsed the "Rules of Procedure" for all the BIMSTEC mechanisms, including several administrative and financial matters of the BIMSTEC Secretariat to be approved by the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting Thursday.
The SOM also finalised the draft text of the Agreement on Maritime Transport Cooperation, which is expected to be approved by the ministerial meeting.
Moreover, the meeting finalised the BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030 and recommended it for approval at the ministerial meeting. The SOM also endorsed the blue economy as a sub-sector under the trade, investment and development sector.
The 19th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting will be held in Bangkok online.