Thailand takes chair of Bimstec, vows action

Thailand takes chair of Bimstec, vows action

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, sixth from right, on Monday poses with ambassadors, diplomats and senior government officials at an exhibition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Bimstec at Iconsiam. (Photo: Arnun Cholmahatrakool)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, sixth from right, on Monday poses with ambassadors, diplomats and senior government officials at an exhibition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Bimstec at Iconsiam. (Photo: Arnun Cholmahatrakool)

Having assumed the chairmanship of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) this year, Thailand has pledged to make Bimstec a more tangible grouping than ever before.

That was the message from Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai on Monday at an exhibition to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the regional organisation at Iconsiam.

The exhibition was a promotional event put on to coincide with Thailand taking the chair for 2022-2023.

"It's time to make Bimstec more tangible than it used to be," Mr Don said.

He said that Bimstec had one of the largest populations, currently standing at more than 1.4 billion, residing within both regions (Southeast Asia and South Asia).

Furthermore, he emphasised that now was the time for this group that was founded over 25 years ago in Bangkok to mark its blossoming international status and new legal framework with a determined effort to achieve tangible growth in the coming years.

"If we follow the framework and Thailand's chairmanship, we will see the word PRO which stands for Prosperous, Resilient and Open become the mantra and a mark of achievement.

"It means that we are heavily emphasising regional prosperity, and the need to put more weight on regional resiliency and transparency. Thailand stands ready to play a leading role in connecting member countries," he said.

This year the country will continue to be a key proponent of the Bimstec Master Plan for Transport Connectivity and also support further land links between India, Myanmar and Thailand.

Aside from this, Thailand has already taken Bimstec a step closer to achieving success in its Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model by promoting regional renewable energy usage and biomass energy.

On March 30 this year, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attended the 5th Bimstec Summit virtually, at which Sri Lanka handed over the chairmanship.

Bimstec is one of the largest regional cooperation frameworks worldwide in terms of population, the size of its combined economy and potential for growth, experts agree.

It consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.



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