Thailand enhances regional cooperation through the Bay of Bengal Initiative
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of International Economic Affairs led a meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) earlier this week that established guidelines that will shape future cooperation among its seven country members.
The department’s director-general, Cherdchai Chaivaivid, chaired the 6th meeting of the group’s permanent working committee in Bangkok on February 1 and 2.
The department said the meeting successfully concluded four key documents: 1) Rules of Procedure for Core BIMSTEC mechanisms; 2) Rules of Procedure for BIMSTEC Sectoral Mechanisms; 3) Rules of Procedure for BIMSTEC’s External Relations, and 4) Draft Terms of Reference for the Eminent Persons’ Group on the future direction of BIMSTEC.
These documents will guide the future direction of the group while also establishing standard operating procedures, which will create a more streamlined and consistent organisational structure, the department added.
Thailand began chairing the group in March 2022 and has already hosted two meetings of its permanent working group. Documents finalised at the meetings will be submitted to the 23rd senior officials’ meeting and the 19th ministerial meeting in March.
Member states and the group’s secretariat have complimented Thailand for helping foster a spirit of cooperation within BIMSTEC, which has seven South and Southeast Asian members: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.