Minister of State for Foreign Affairs U Kyaw Tin participated in the 15th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Ministerial Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal from 10 to 11 August 2017. The Ministerial Meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal and attended by Ministers/Deputy Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the BIMSTEC Member States, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
In the evening of 10 August, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs attended the inaugural session of the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting. In his inaugural speech, H.E. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal, highlighted that the BIMSTEC Member States should further enhance the cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, energy, environmental conservation, counter-terrorism and connectivity. Then, the Minister of State together with the other heads of delegation paid a joint courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal. After the joint courtesy call, he also attended the Welcome Dinner hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Nepal in honour of the participants of the Meeting.
On 11 August, the Minister of State participated in the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and addressed the meeting on Myanmar’s participation in the BIMSTEC cooperation activities. He said that among the 14 priority areas of BIMSTEC cooperation, Myanmar is serving as a lead country of Agriculture and Energy sectors. He stressed that providing the energy access could create job opportunities and contribute to the efforts in alleviating poverty. He also highlighted the need to promote cooperation for the development of Energy and Tourism sectors.
In order to promote the trade and investment among BIMSTEC Member States, he stated that Myanmar put in place Myanmar Investment Law and rules and regulations which create the conducive environment for foreign investors. He stressed that terrorism has become the most significant threat to peace and stability in the Bay of Bengal region as well as the Southeast Asia region, and called for strengthening cooperation among Member States in the fight against terrorism. He emphasized that a peaceful and stable environment is essential for the success of regional cooperation activities.
At the Ministerial Meeting, the other heads of delegation exchanged views on the progress of the outcome of the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat held in Goa, India in October last year and discussed the activities and commemorative events undertaken by the Member States to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the BIMSTEC. The Meeting also urged the Member States for early signing of MoU on BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection. The Meeting endorsed the appointment of Mr. M Shahidul Islam from Bangladesh as new Secretary General of BIMSTEC for the replacement of the current Secretary General who has completed his tenure of (3) years.. The nomination was made by the Government of Bangladesh in accordance with the alphabetical order. The Minister of State was also accompanied by U Lwin Oo, Ambassador of Myanmar to Nepal at the Ministerial Meeting. The Joint Statement of the 15th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting was issued at the conclusion of the Meeting.
In the morning of 12th August 2017, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs visited the Myanmar Embassy in Kathmandu and met with the Ambassador and staff of the Embassy.