The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people constituting around 22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economy. In the last five years, BIMSTEC Member States have been able to sustain an average 6.5% economic growth trajectory despite global financial meltdown. The objective of building such an alliance is to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages. Unlike many other regional groupings, BIMSTEC is a sector-driven cooperative organization.
Energizing BIMSTEC holds a dual advantage to India as the grouping provides a natural platform to fulfill India’s key foreign policy of “Act East” and also gives impetus to India’s domestic goal of developing the northeastern region, which is the country’s geographical gateway to the east and southeast Asia.
To mark the 20th Anniversary, India is undertaking a wide range of initiatives involving a number of institutions, industry associations, and think-tanks as stakeholders in BIMSTEC. These include high level multi-sectoral conferences; a trade and tourism expo; a start-up summit to boost innovation by bringing start-ups from the region together; a business conclave to showcase ready to invest projects; and festivals on Buddhism heritage and for youth. These initiatives would not only promote trade, investments, innovation and people-to-people contacts, but would also enhance the visibility of "Brand BIMSTEC”.
The August issue of the Multilateral Newsletter captures the priority areas of cooperation in the grouping, the regional challenges and the solutions to strengthen and integrate the grouping. In addition to this, the newsletter also highlights the key happenings at the International Labour Organisation (ILO), The World Bank (WB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).