Inaugural session: Modi pitches for walking together with BIMSTEC member nations


Kathmandu, Stating that there is a civilisational connect among all BIMSTEC member nations,Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said in today's world no development and peace and prosperity can be achieved by any country alone. "We have to walk together....We all are developing nations and want peace and development. But in today's world it can't be achieved alone," Mr Modi said in his remarks at the inaugural session of the fourth BIMSTEC Summit here. He said connectivity ought to be comprehensive - digital to trade and road transport. In this context, he said there is need to push for the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement and BIMSTEC Motor Vehicle Agreement, that are currently being negotiated. He said India is firmly committed to ensure growth, peace and prosperity of BIMSTEC or Bay of Bengal region and pointed out that two guiding theme of his government's foreign policy - Act East and Neighbourhood First are essentially rooted on the overall development of the region itself. Throwing up number of ideas and proposals to give BIMSTEC a major push as a regional grouping, Prime Minister Modi said India is ready to host a BIMSTEC Start Up Summit. He also announced 30 scholarships for BIMSTEC students at Nalanda University and said the Indian government will also work short-term training courses on various subjects. He said in August 2020, India will host an International Buddhists' Conference and invited all BIMSTEC member nation heads to attend the same.He also extended invitation to all BIMSTEC member nations for the Mobility Conclave in Delhi. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional grouping of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia and the member states are - Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal. The regional grouping in some quarters is also seen as a body that could in the near future 'isolate Pakistan' from other nations in the region.