External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday signed three pacts representing India at the third BIMSTEC Summit covering areas such as cultural exchanges, permanent secretariat and early weather warning.
The pacts were signed after the leaders of BIMSTEC at the summit, where India is being led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, outlined their respective vision for the seven-nation grouping.
The leaders decided to approve the setting up of a permanent secretariat, establish a centre on weather and climate and a commission to promote cultural exchanges among their countries.
"Since 2007, India's National Tsunami Early Warning Centre is providing early warnings to Indian Ocean Rim countries on a regular basis," the prime minister said.
"The BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate in Noida near New Delhi will become functional immediately after we sign this Memorandum of Association today," he added.
The prime minister also said BIMSTEC, comprising India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand Sri Lanka, was making steady progress.
"The permanent secretariat that we are establishing in Dhaka will be an important milestone in the evolution of this group and I thank Bangladesh for offering to host it," he said.
"I hope the setting up of the secretariat will also enable us to focus on areas that are particularly critical to realizing the BIMSTEC vision."
(Arvind Padmanabhan can be contacted at email@example.com)