Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 3 August 2018) – Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradip Kumar Gyawali has said that Nepal extends full support to make BIMSTEC process more effective, functional and result-oriented.
Speaking at the Pre-BIMSTEC Summit High Level Consultative Meeting held on Thursday, he said BIMSTEC is a vibrant bridge between two promising regions of the Asian continent- South Asia and South East Asia, with diverse topography ranging from the white Himalayas to the blue Ocean- shared cultural and historical linkages, and abundant natural and human resources promise avenues for successful regional cooperation.
“These two regions of South Asia which BIMSTEC encompasses are still facing numerous challenges and lagging behind in most fronts be it economic prosperity, social progress or scientific advancement”.
The Foreign Minister also said that we have to work hand in hand with all the stakeholders including the private sector, civil society and think tanks in order to steer BIMSTEC into expected direction and achieve desired results. “We have the onerous responsibility of serving our people in order to make their lives better, safe and dignified, and we have no option other than accelerating regional and global co-operation to complement our developmental efforts at the national level”, he said.
Nepal is hosting the fourth BIMSTEC Summit within one month’s time. Established in 1997, the year 2018 marks the 21th anniversary of BIMSTEC. Since then, BIMSTEC has expanded and become the group of seven member states- five from South Asia and two from South East Asia.
Stating that the effectiveness of regional cooperation depends upon how well the Member States are connected to each other, as it has direct bearing on tourism, trade and industrialization and their overall relations, Minister Gyawali said in today’s world, connectivity encompasses not only physical but also digital and human dimensions. It is a need of the day that we have to redouble our efforts at regional and country level to expand and deepen connectivity in all dimensions. “For a land-locked country like Nepal, enhanced connectivity is even more important”.
Minister Gyawali said as we have already passed two decades of our engagement, it’s high time to introspect and move forward with new vigor and dynamism. We have to address the shortcomings and put more concerted efforts to convert the commitments into action for tangible progress in all areas for the common benefit of our peoples.
The event was organised by the Institute for Strategic and Socio-Economic Research (ISSR) Nepal, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) India, and Pavilion Group.