India will give security cover to BIMSTEC, member countries have accepted BIMSTEC Charter, the government will make agenda to increase cooperation.
The fate of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will not be the same as that of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
The charter of this organization was approved for the first time in the virtual summit of the heads of all the seven BIMSTEC countries (India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Thailand) held on Wednesday.
It has been agreed among the top leaders to cooperate in seven areas and each member country has been entrusted with the responsibility of leadership in one area.
The free trade agreement came into force.
India has been given the responsibility of leading the cooperation in the field of security arrangements in BIMSTEC. That is, India will provide security cover to BIMSTEC.
Member countries have also agreed to work on an ambitious economic agenda under which the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be implemented in BIMSTEC.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a special mention of FTA in his speech.
India will give security cover to BIMSTEC: Have to be more active.
In a way, India will play a big role in deciding how to make BIMSTEC countries more secure. Prime Minister Modi said that BIMSTEC will now have to be made more active.
He called it imperative to give more priority to the regional security of the member states.
He assured the member countries of all possible help from India in security as well as agriculture, connectivity, and medical fields.
Security is most important in the development agenda.
Regarding how India will provide security, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Rudendra Tandon said that security is the most important in the agenda of development of any organization.
Further, it will be seen what are the capabilities of BIMSTAC members to cooperate in the security sector and what role they can play in this.
The master plan was also approved.
To begin with, India would like to work in two important areas, the first being to establish a high-quality cooperative framework against terrorism, transnational crimes, and non-common crimes.
More close contact should be established between the investigative agencies of all the member countries. Second, a framework will also be prepared for how to establish more cooperation in the economic field.
In the summit meeting, the leaders of the seven countries also approved a master plan for transport connectivity.
Summit will be held every two years.
BIMSTEC was established 25 years ago, but its charter has now been approved. That is, now it is a truly international organization with its own purpose and its own agenda.
A special group has been constituted which will prepare the future agenda of BIMSTEC. Its summit will be held every two years, while the foreign ministers will meet every year.
BIMSTEC’s fate may not be the same as that of SAARC.
Officials said the purpose for which SAARC was set up could never be achieved. Neither cooperation could be established between SAARC countries on security nor in the field of trade.
Pakistan was a big reason for this, but India is making sure that the fate of BIMSTEC is not like that of SAARC.
That is why it will play a central role in formulating and implementing the agenda for security as well as trade cooperation.
Security agenda is very important.
India had already proposed to lead the BIMSTEC countries on security cooperation.
Given the way China tries to influence its member countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, it is of different importance for India to prepare the security agenda for the entire organization.