Current Affairs

A connectivity master plan for the Bay of Bengal region by BIMSTEC

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    3rd Apr, 2021


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.