Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the permanent secretariat of Bimstec at Gulshan in Dhaka today.
Terming the inauguration day as “historic” for Bangladesh and Bimstec, she said the secretariat marks beginning of a new journey towards a greater and intense cooperation for this unique regional organisation that bridges South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Opening the Secretariat is the culmination of our collective resolve to create a better and more prosperous future, she said.
“Let Bimstec secretariat become a hallmark of proud partnership of the seven-member states across the Bay of Bengal,” she added.
Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) comprises of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan and Thailand.
The finance minister, foreign minister, state minister for foreign affairs and Bimstec secretary general also addressed during the inaugural function.
BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand-Economic Cooperation) was formed in June 1997. After the entry of Myanmar in December 1997, the organisation was renamed BIMST-EC.
It expanded further when Nepal and Bhutan joined the group in February 2004. The organisation was renamed Bimstec in July 2004.
In January 2011, the members decided to set up the permanent secretariat, and Dhaka was finalised as the location at the 3rd Bimstec Summit in Myanmar in March.