BIMSTEC Finalises Connectivity Master Plan

  • The virtual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Bay of Bengal Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping on 1 April 2021 finalised a major Connectivity master plan for the Bay of Bengal region.
  • The seven-member regional grouping namely India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar will take up the Master plan for transport connectivity for adoption in the next summit of the organisation to be hosted by Sri Lanka in a few months from now.
  • The meeting also endorsed three MoUs/agreements relating to convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal matters, cooperation between diplomatic and training academies and establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility in Colombo.
  • The connectivity master plan is the outcome of more than a decade of consultations among the member states. The study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2007 and 2014, identified 166 connectivity projects at an estimated cost of USD 50 billion out of which 65 projects were identified as priority projects.