An International conference on BIMSTEC will be organized by India Foundation in collaboration with FICCI in Guwahati from November 2 to 4, 2017, under the overarching theme of ‘BIMSTEC: An Enabling Architecture for Growth, Prosperity and Partnerships’. The conference aims to engage the Member States of BIMSTEC on the same platform and collectively streamline a vision for the future. As a prelude to the BIMSTEC conference and on the occasion of 20th Anniversary of BIMSTEC on 6th June 2017, India Foundation and FICCI organised a curtain raiser of the conference. Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, Government of India, was the Guest of Honour at the curtain raiser. He released the official brochure and website of BIMSTEC conference.
Addressing the curtain raiser, Mr. Jayant Sinha said that, “To make the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean the real power centre of the region, the BIMSTEC countries would have to work together”. He added that “To strengthen trade, connectivity is vital to develop linkages”. Therefore, the focus of India is on developing transport infrastructure, which includes rail and roadways, waterways and aviation. He also highlighted that India is developing its railways and roadways network and is linking the northeast with the rest of India so as it to make it the hub for reaching out to the neighbouring countries.
Mr. Sinha also suggested that to encourage high value travellers and to allow free movement for business persons, there should be an open skies policy in BIMSTEC. He said that India is looking to expand the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme of its aviation policy to countries of BIMSTEC.
Mr. Prashant Agrawal, Joint Secretary (BIMSTEC & SAARC), MEA, read out the transcript of the message from Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, on the occasion of Twentieth Anniversary of BIMSTEC.
The event was a well-attended and saw participation of many Ambassadors and officials from the Embassies of BIMSTEC countries apart from other dignitaries.