Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai has highlighted the need for BIMSTEC to work more closely together to become an effective regional player, with a shared strategic vision and a leading role in promoting a safe, stable, and secure Bay of Bengal.
He chaired the 19th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting virtually at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok on 9 March 2023. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, represented the Thai delegation.
At the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister also stressed the need for BIMSTEC to be able to decisively and substantially contribute to the global progress in human development, green development, food and energy security, and climate change.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting discussed and approved the draft text of BIMSTEC Bangkok Vision 2030, a leader-level document proposed by Thailand to guide BIMSTEC toward a prosperous, resilient, and open region by 2030.
The document aims to further promote BIMSTEC as a region of peace, stability, and economic sustainability. The goals found in the Vision are also in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model.
The meeting also approved a number of agreements and important documents, including the Bangkok Vision 2030, Rules of Procedure for BIMSTEC Mechanism, and Agreement on Maritime Transport Cooperation. These documents will go on to be later discussed at the sixth BIMSTEC Summit.
Thailand currently serves as Chair of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, for two years, from 2022 to 2023.
BIMSTEC is a technical and economic cooperation framework, comprising seven countries - Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand - all dependent on the Bay of Bengal. It was established on 6 June 1997 through the initiative of Thailand, which was also host of the first BIMSTEC Summit in 2014, in line with Thailand’s "Look West” policy, as well as the "Look East” policies of the South Asian countries and India’s "Act East” policy.