Bhutan attended BIMSTEC’s 20th SOM in Sri Lanka

Bhutanese delegation led by Foreign Secretary, Ambassador Kinga Singye attended the 20th Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held on Tuesday.

The SOM was preceded by the 3rd Session of the BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee (BPWC) from 1-2 March 2020. The Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka hosted the SOM and BPWC in Colombo.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the BPWC and the SOM discussed and finalized, amongst other important matters, the draft BIMSTEC Charter and rationalization of sectors and sub-sectors of areas of cooperation under BIMSTEC.

Bhutan will reportedly be the lead country for Environment and Climate Change after the proposed rationalization of sectors and sub-sectors is adopted. These will be further deliberated at the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting that will be convened by the Government of Sri Lanka prior to the 5th BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, later this year.

During the visit, Foreign Secretary called on Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka and discussed areas of cooperation and engagement between the two countries. He also met with the Secretary General of BIMSTEC, leaders of delegation of BIMSTEC Member States and Bhutan’s Honorary Consul in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, BIMSTEC is a regional group comprising seven Member States from the Bay of Bengal Region and was established in June 1997 with the main objective of creating an enabling environment for rapid economic development and accelerating social progress.

Bhutan became a member of BIMSTEC in 2004.

Yenten Thinley from Thimphu