New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday said that BIMSTEC (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is a powerful engine of economic growth with 21.7 per cent of the world population and a combined GDP of US 3.8 Trillion dollars.
Speaking at the inaugural address at ‘BIMSTEC: A Vehicle for Growth and Development, Shringla said that BIMSTEC has added significance for the development of India’s north-eastern region.
“With 21.7 per cent of the world population and combined GDP of US 3.8 Trillion dollars, BIMSTEC is a powerful engine of economic growth. During the last decade, the region registered a compound annual growth rate of 6.1 per cent. We should collectively strive to surpass this rate this decade,” he said today.
Terming ‘Neighbourhood First’ & ‘Act East’ policy “relevant” for BIMSTEC, Shringla said that BIMSTEC is unarguably a crucial link in connecting South and Southeast Asia.
“Neighbourhood First’ & ‘Act East’ – both of which are relevant for BIMSTEC, are cornerstones of India’s foreign policy. BIMSTEC is unarguably a crucial link in connecting South & Southeast Asia,” Shringla said.
“As our Prime Minister has noted, BIMSTEC has emerged as the promising regional grouping to fulfil the common aspirations of its people and serve the shared interest of its Member States,” he added.
He also said that India has played a proactive role in building capacities of BIMSTEC Member States across various sectors of a regional corporation.