The Bay of Bengal Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) endorsed an ambitiousair, land, and sea connectivity master plan.
About the BIMSTEC Master Plan
- It is a major transport connectivity plan which came as an outcome of the discussion of its members India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
- The plan also came up after consultation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
- More connectivity: The plan will provide better connectivity and integration.
- The plan will seed the modernization and development of highways, railways, waterways, and sea and air routes.
- Synergistic:The BIMSTEC master plan will also encourage synergy with other connectivity plans such as the ASEAN master plan on connectivity 2025.
- Major links: Some of the arterial links included in the master plan are the
- India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway
- Kolkata-Birgunj and Kolkata-Kathmandu links
- Kolkata-Siliguri-Guwahati-Imphal link
- Kandy-Colombo link.
- Connectivity with India: India’s northeastern states form a key factor of the master plan as several roads and river links pass through the region.
- The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organization of seven nations namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
- It was formed, in 1997, as a sub-regional grouping in Bangkok under the name BIST-EC with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand as its members.
- Myanmar and Nepal became its members later in 1997 and 2004 respectively.
- Its first summit in 2004, renamed the BIMSTEC.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) becomes its partner in 2005. Its task is to undertake the "BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistic Study" (BTILS), which was completed in 2014.
- There are 14 main sectors of BIMSTEC along with technological and economic cooperation on which it focuses.