4th BIMSTEC Summit concludes with Kathmandu Declaration

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Desk report, August 31: The 4th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit concluded on Friday with the signing of Kathmandu Declaration.  In the two-day summit held in Kathmandu on August 30-31, the heads of state and government of the seven member states reiterated the need for enhancing connectivity within the region.The BIMSTEC member states have agreed to connect the nations through highway, railway, air, sea, and power-transmission line.

Likewise, the member states have reached an agreement to end poverty from the region by 2030 in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  The countries have also pledged to stand collectively against terrorism and terrorist financing.

The declaration includes cooperation in other areas such as agricultural technology exchange, fight against terrorism, gradual reduction of the impact of climate change, increase trade and investment, and ease the visa processing for the people of BIMSTEC member states.

After a closing speech, Prime Minister Oli, who is the current chair of BIMSTEC, handing over the chairmanship of the next BIMSTEC summit to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.

Nepal and India are preparing to sign a bilateral agreement at 4 pm today. The two neighbours are likely to sign an agreement on a feasibility study for Janakpur-Kathmandu railway. Nepal is also signing some agreements with Sri Lanka on Saturday, sources said.

At the bilateral meeting with PM Oli earlier this morning, Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o- cha gifted symbolic medicines and medical equipment worth of 1.5 million US Dollars to Nepal.

Earlier today, BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers signed the MOU on the establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection in the presence of their heads of state or government.

Source: kathmandupost