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Sri Lanka to boost regional maritime cooperation with BIMSTEC agreement

21 Jun 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Nuzla Rizkiya 

Sri Lanka will see a boost in its regional maritime corporation with the government gearing up to sign an agreement with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). 
The Cabinet of Ministers, this week approved a proposal to sign the maritime transport cooperation agreement agreed upon by BIMSTEC member states to enhance nautical connectivity within the region. 

The proposal to sign the agreement was presented by Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva in January this year. 

The Cabinet approval was granted following the advices given by an official committee that was appointed to study the BIMSTEC agreement prior to its official signing. 

However, the final draft of the agreement on maritime transport cooperation with the initiative will be prepared based on the recommendations suggested by the officials of the committee in their report. 

BIMSTEC is a regional organisation comprising seven member states located around the Bay of Bengal. 
Established in 1997, the initiative aims to promote economic growth, social progress, and regional integration in the Bay of Bengal region. 

Initially known as BIST-EC (Bangladesh-India-Sri Lanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation), the organisation is now known as BIMSTEC with the addition of Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar as member states. 
As a sector driven group, the initiative promotes cooperation in multiple sectors including trade, investment, technology, energy, transport, tourism, fisheries, agriculture, culture etc led by member states.