Wednesday 5 March 2014

BIMSTEC Summit Declaration

We, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, the President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Prime Minister of Nepal, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand met in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on 4 March 2014 for the Third BIMSTEC Summit Meeting;

Third BIMSTEC Summit DeclarationNay Pyi Taw, Myanmar March 4, 2014

Reaffirming the aims and purposes of BIMSTEC as contained in the 1997 Bangkok Declaration,
Recalling the First BIMSTEC Summit Declaration (Bangkok, 31 July 2004) and the Second Summit Declaration (New Delhi, 13 November 2008),
Recognizing the close relationship and deepening engagements among the BIMSTEC Member States given the geographical proximity as well as the rich historical linkages and cultural heritage,
Convinced that the BIMSTEC Member States, endowed with abundant natural and human resources, have considerable potential for economic and social development through mutually beneficial cooperation in identified priority areas,
Recognizing that globalization and regional cooperation continue to generate increased linkages and inter-dependence within the economies and societies in the BIMSTEC Member States and provide greater opportunity to further leverage regional cooperation and respond to new and emerging challenges,
Recognizing the threats posed by climate change on the lives and livelihoods of peoples across the Member States,
Reiterating firm commitment to alleviate poverty in the BIMSTEC region to ensure dignity, improve the quality of life and well-being of the peoples,
Recognizing the threat that terrorism poses to peace, stability and economic progress in the region, and emphasizing the need for closer cooperation in combating all forms of terrorism and transnational crimes,
Further recognizing the special challenges faced by the Least-Developed Member States in the region and the need to support them within their development process,
Convinced also that harmony, prosperity and well-being among the BIMSTEC Member States can be enhanced through deeper economic and social cooperation, enhanced connectivity, sustainable development and harnessing of common natural resource base and cultural and people-to-people linkages,
Reiterating commitment to BIMSTEC as a regional cooperation group,
Do hereby:
Resolve to commit increased efforts in accomplishing the founding aims and purposes of BIMSTEC.
Decide to move forward towards finalization of the draft Agreement on Trade in Goods with agreed General Rules of Origin and Product Specific Rules, and also to signing of the Agreement on Dispute Settlement Procedures, and the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters under the Framework Agreement on the BIMSTEC Free Trade Area.
Direct the BIMSTEC Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) to expedite its work for the conclusion of the Agreement on Trade in Goods by the end of 2014, and to continue its efforts for early finalization of the Agreement on Services and Investments.
Agree to enhance cooperation in expanding skill and technology base of Member States through collaborations and partnerships targeted towards micro, small and medium scale enterprises and decide to accelerate efforts for the early finalization of the Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility.
Underline the need for enhancing regional cooperation in the energy sector, welcome the holding of the Third BIMSTEC Energy Ministerial Meeting in Nepal in 2014 and also the Fourth BIMSTEC Energy Ministerial Meeting in Bhutan in 2015, and recognize the role of the BIMSTEC Energy Centre in Bengaluru, India in this context.
Express satisfaction at the continuing work on developing physical connectivity in BIMSTEC region and the progress made in updating the BTILS supported by the Asian Development Bank for enhancement of intraregional connectivity, transport infrastructure and logistics, and welcome efforts to identify concrete projects for implementation.
Express satisfaction at the progress made in implementing tourism cooperation programmes and in following up the Plan of Action on Tourism; and encourage the Member States realize the enormous tourism potential of the region by enhancing cooperation in this field, particularly through facilitating engagements among the private sector in the Member States.
Resolve to continue cooperation in the area of fisheries, including inland fisheries, and conservation and management and sustainable use of marine resources in the Bay of Bengal region.
Reiterate our commitment to continue and enhance cooperation in the field of agriculture, including crops, livestock and horticulture; and decide to intensify cooperative efforts by materializing short and long term joint research programmes towards increased productivity and yields of agricultural produce in the region.
Resolve to enhance cooperation in environmental protection and sustainable development and promote capacity building in the area of disaster management.
Recognize that deepening of cultural cooperation among the Member States can also contribute towards the promotion of socio-economic development of the region driven by cultural industries.
Agree to enhance cooperation in the health sector, including on traditional medicine, and to intensify our efforts to promote activities of the BIMSTEC Network of National Centres of Coordination in traditional medicine.
Reiterate our commitment to expand efforts to further promote people-to-people exchanges and linkages, at various levels among the BIMSTEC Member States, including facilitating travels through the BIMSTEC Business Visa Scheme and the BIMSTEC Visa Exemption Scheme.
Welcome the setting up of the BIMSTEC Network of Policy Think Tanks and agree to cooperate and coordinate for organizing short-term activities such as workshops, seminars, and exchange programmes, including audio visual programmes, on building public awareness on BIMSTEC.
Agree to implement the BIMSTEC Poverty Plan of Action adopted at the second BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Alleviation held in January 2012 in Nepal, and welcome the offer by Sri Lanka to host the Third Ministerial Meeting on Poverty Alleviation during the first half of 2014.
Express satisfaction at the close cooperation between law enforcement agencies of Member States in combating terrorism and transnational crimes, call for expediting the ratification for entry into force of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking and also for the early signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.
Agree to explore collaborative initiatives amongst the Member States towards addressing the adverse impacts of climate change in the BIMSTEC region.
Agree to intensify efforts to deepen cooperation in all areas of activities within the framework of BIMSTEC, including strengthening institutional mechanisms.
Welcome the signing of the following BIMSTEC Instruments:
Memorandum of Association on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Commission (BCIC) and BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Observatory (BCIO).
Memorandum of Association Among BIMSTEC Member Countries Concerning Establishment of a BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate.
Convey appreciation to the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for providing the premises for the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka and also express satisfaction at the progress made towards the operationalization of the Secretariat.
Welcome the appointment of Mr. Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka as the first Secretary General of BIMSTEC.
Convey deep appreciation to Myanmar for the able stewardship of BIMSTEC from 2009, and welcome Nepal as the new Chair of BIMSTEC,
We, the leaders from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the special envoy of the Prime Minister of Thailand, express our sincere appreciation to the Government of Myanmar for the warm hospitality and for the excellent arrangements made for the Summit.

Third BIMSTEC Summit DeclarationNay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
March 4, 2014

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