India for early Bimstec meet to boost connectivity

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

India is likely to urge Nepal to soon hold the fourth summit of the seven-member grouping of BIMSTEC.
The summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Econ-omic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will help fast-track regional connectivity projects and push Indian Act East Policy, according to a report by economictimes.indiatimes.com.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to suggest his Nepalese counterpart, KP Oli, to convene the meet at the earliest, according to people aware of the matter.
They said India is eager to put in place the BIMSTEC multi-modal connectivity pact, especially since the proposed connectivity links under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) are progressing slowly.
The BIMSTEC summit will give political push to the objective of the grouping.
With both Bhutan and Bangladesh set to hold parliamentary polls in 2018, India is also keen on the coastal shipping arrangement to infuse momentum into the sub-regional grouping that will feed into its Act East Policy, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified.