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Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India called for greater buoyancy in the approach toward implementing projects in the BIMSTEC region. The Minister was speaking at the BIMSTEC Business Summit organized by the Ministry of External Affairs with the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Sitharaman elucidated how the complementarity of the region could be highlighted to close in on the agreements that are being discussed. She shared that with the BRICS Business meetings going on at present, it was apt to have invited the BIMSTEC countries to take part in the deliberations. She observed that the countries in this region have been connected since time immemorial and hence the organic nature of pre-existing relationships could be easily revived.
Romi Gauchan Thakali, Minister of Commerce, Government of Nepal, highlighted that for Nepal, BIMSTEC is a stepping stone for its industry to embark on the journey to integrated business transactions. Having achieved their political agenda in the recent past, Nepal is currently on the path of economic development and hence is ready to foster in regional integration and increased business linkages with its neighboring nations especially under the BIMSTEC umbrella. He also urged that the special treatment given to LDCs in the region be continued as it has definitely resulted in successful business exchanges.
Preeti Saran, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs said that countries in the BIMSTEC region have a shared heritage and is one of the most dynamic regions in the world. She pointed out that put together BIMSTEC countries comprises of $ 2.5 bn of the world economy. Hence it is important that the themes of free trade, physical connectivity, power and MSME's get maximum focus. She further added that being the lead country for BIMSTEC on the sectors of transport, tourism and infrastructure; India will continue pushing agendas for greater collusion of thoughts.
Sumith Nakandala, Secretary General, BIMSTEC Secretariat, Bangladesh laid emphasis on the fact that that the Bay of Bengal us a conduit for the flow of ideas and innovative business models. BIMSTEC region is situated at the heart of history and it is only the reimagining of connections that will pave the way for the formation of an exemplary network. It is time that we rediscover our common heritage and create the roadmap to celebrate the 20th anniversary of BIMSTEC, he said.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, said that Indian industry has a key role to play in driving global trade and investment agenda. The Annual BIMSTEC Business Summit will provide opportunities of Country Mapping of the member countries. The engagement would facilitate as well as identify opportunities of Sectoral Collaboration and Policy Advocacy between member countries.
The Summit provided a platform to deliberate upon concerns with regard to the finalization of the FTA, connecting the dots with respect to physical connectivity, ways to power BIMSTEC countries and providing the right ecosystem for the growth of MSMEs. It brought together experts from Industry, Government and Institutions to build integrative strategies to facilitate an effective and integrated role with invaluable collaborative opportunities to ensure unhindered economic growth and human development in the BIMSTEC region.
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