BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports Strengthens Maritime Interactions
The first ever BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports was held at Vishakhapatanam on 7-8 November 2019, aims at providing a platform to strengthen maritime interaction, port-led connectivity initiatives and sharing best practices among Member Countries.
While inaugurating First BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports, Hon’ble Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge), Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya reiterated Prime Minister Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) highlighting the motto of “SabkaSaathSabka Vikas (Collective Efforts Inclusive Growth)” that provides Peace, Prosperity and Security for all in the Region. Minister also expressed that India is keen in forging deep relations with BIMSTEC Member States.
The First BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports will help in this regard. Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Culture and Youth Advancement, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh Shri M S Rao, Hon’ble Minister for Industries, Commerce and Information Technology, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh Shri M. G. Reddy along with Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Vishakhapatnam Shri M. V.V. Satyanarayana also attended the Conclave.
Three Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) have been signed between Ranong Port (Port Authority of Thailand) and the Port Trusts of Chennai, Vishakhapatanam and Kolkata during the Conclave on 7 November 2019. These MOUs will contribute to BIMSTEC objective of strengthening connectivity and is a 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 that is 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 07 days.
India attaches great importance to Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) which links five countries from South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India & Sri Lanka) and two from South-East Asia (Myanmar & Thailand). The BIMSTEC region brings together 1.67 billion people – 22% of world population and a combined GDP of US$ 3.71 Trillion. Four BIMSTEC summits have been held so far, the latest at Kathmandu on 30-31 August 2018 [earlier Summits were 2004(Bangkok), 2008(New Delhi), 2014(Nay Pyi Taw)]. A “BIMSTEC Outreach Summit and Leaders’ Retreat” was held in Goa in 2016. The BIMSTEC Leaders participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Hon’ble Prime Minister at New Delhi on 30 May 2019. In BIMSTEC expanding connectivity is among the key priorities.