• Saturday, Nov 17, 2018
  • Last Update : 05:50 pm

PM to leave for Nepal Thursday to join 4th Bimstec Summit

  • Published at 08:27 pm August 27th, 2018
Sheikh Hasina
File photo of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina AFP

Countering terrorism, enhancing regional connectivity and boosting trade are expected to be key focus of the summit

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka for Kathmandu on Thursday on a two-day official visit to attend the 4th Summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec).

The summit will commence the same afternoon at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza in the Nepalese capital with the participation of the leaders of the seven-nation regional grouping, which constitutes a bridge between South and Southeast Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries, reports BSS.

A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the prime minister and her entourage will take off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Thursday morning.

The flight is scheduled to reach Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu at 9:15am local time the same day.

Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Ishwor Pokharel and Bangladesh Ambassador to Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams will receive Sheikh Hasina at the airport.

After the reception there, Hasina will be escorted to Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza at Tahachal Marg in a ceremonial motorcade, where she will be staying during her visit.

Afterwards, the prime minister will call on Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari at Sheetal Nibash, the Presidential Palace.

She will also attend a banquet luncheon there to be hosted by Bhandari.

Later in the afternoon, Hasina, along with the leaders of other countries, will attend the opening session of the 4th Bimstec Summit.

Countering terrorism, enhancing regional connectivity and boosting trade are expected to be key focus of the summit of the leaders of the member states of South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The leaders of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal are also likely to deliberate on tri-services military exercise among the member states alongside exchanging views on a free trade agreement.

Sheikh Hasina and other leaders will join a gala dinner to be hosted by Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in the city’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on Thursday evening.

Hasina will return home on Friday noon.

This sub-regional organization came into being on June 6, 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. It comprises seven member states — five from South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) and two from Southeast Asia (Myanmar and Thailand).

Initially, the economic bloc was formed with four member states with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).

Following the inclusion of Myanmar on December 22, 1997 during a special Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, the group was renamed ‘Bimst-Ec’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).

With the admission of Nepal and Bhutan at the 6th Ministerial Meeting in February 2004 in Thailand, the name of the grouping was changed to Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec).

The objective of building such an alliance was to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.