BIMSTEC CONCLAVE OF PORTS
Context: The first ever BIMSTEC Conclave of Ports was held at Vishakhapatnam on 7-8 November, 2019.
- The conclave aims at providing a platform to strengthen maritime interaction, port-led connectivity initiatives and sharing best practices among member countries.
- Providing Connectivity is one of the key priorities among BIMSTEC countries.
- Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed between Ranong Port (Port Authority of Thailand) and the Port Trusts of Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata during the Conclave.
- These MoUs will contribute to BIMSTEC objectives of strengthening connectivity and is 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 i.e. 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 7 days.
- TheBay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia, housing 1.5 billion people and having a combined gross domestic product of $3.5 trillion (2018).
- The BIMSTEC member states Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal.
- Fourteen priority sectors of cooperation have been identified and several BIMSTEC centres have been established to focus on those sectors.
- A BIMSTEC free trade agreement is under negotiation.
- Leadership is rotated in alphabetical order of country names.
- The permanent secretariat is inDhaka.