New Delhi: The first ever BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports, beingheld at Vishakhapatnam on 7-8 November, 2019 was inaugurated by Minister of State for Shipping(I/C), Shri Mansukh Mandaviya today.The conclave aims at providing a platform to strengthen maritime interaction, port-led connectivity initiatives and sharing best practices among member countries. Providing Connectivity is one of the key priorities among BIMSTEC countries.
While inaugurating the Conclave , Shri Mansukh Mandaviya reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR(Security and Growth for All in the Region) highlighting the motto of “ Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas (Collective Efforts Inclusive Growth)” that provides Peace, Prosperity and Security for all in the Region.The Minister also expressed that India is keen on forging deep relations with BIMSTEC Member States. The first BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports will go a long way in promoting the same, the Minister added.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Youth Advancement, Govt of Andhra Pradesh Shri M S Rao, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Information Technology, Govt of Andhra Pradesh Shri MG Reddy along with Member of Parliament from Vishakhapatnam Shri M.V.V. Satyanarayana also attended the Conclave.
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed between Ranong Port (Port Authority of Thailand) and the Port Trusts of Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata during the Conclave today. These MoUs will contribute to BIMSTEC objectives of strengthening connectivity and is part of India’s Act East Policy. These MoUs will enhance connectivity between ports on Thailand’s West Coast and Ports on India’s East Coast i.e. Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata. These MoUs will enhance economic partnership by cutting down the sea travel time between India and Thailand from 10- 15 days to 7 days.
India attaches great importance to bay of Bengal initiatives for multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) which links five countries from south Asia (Bangladesh, India, , Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal) and two from South East Asia (Myanmar & Thailand) .
The BIMSTEC region brings together 167 billion people together 22% of world population and a combined GDP of US $3.71 Trillion. Four BIMSTEC Summits have been held so far, the earlier ones at Kathmandu on 30-31 August 2018 (earlier summit were 2004 (Bangkok), 2008 (New Delhi), 2014 (Nay Pyi Taw). A ‘BIMSTEC Outreach Summit and Leader’s summit’ was held in Goa in 2016. The BIMSTEC Leaders had also participated in the swearing -in ceremony of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at New Delhi on 30th May 2019.