TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
3. What is BIMSTEC? What are its aims and functions in handling challenges in the Bay of Bengal region? Explain. (15 Marks)
बिम्सटेक क्या है? बंगाल की खाड़ी क्षेत्र में चुनौतियों से निपटने में इसके उद्देश्य और कार्य क्या हैं? समझाएं।
Candidates need to explain about BIMSTEC and its aims and functions in handling challenges in the Bay of Bengal region.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand. Initially, the economic bloc was formed with four Member States with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
Aims of BIMSTEC in handling challenges in the Bay of Bengal region
- The objective of building such an alliance was to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.
- Unlike many other regional groupings, BIMSTEC is a sector-driven cooperative organization.
- Starting with six sectors—including trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries—for sectoral cooperation in the late 1997, it expanded to embrace nine more sectors—including agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change—in 2008.
Functions of BIMSTEC in handling challenges in the Bay of Bengal region
- To accelerate the economic growth and social progress in the Bay of Bengal region through joint endeavours in a spirit of equality and partnership.
- To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, technical and scientific fields.
- To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional and technical spheres.
- To maintain peace and stability in the Bay of Bengal region through close collaboration in combating international terrorism, transnational organized crimes as well as natural disasters, climate change and communicable diseases.
- To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes.
- To endeavour to eradicate poverty from the Bay of Bengal region.
- To promote trade and investment as a major contributing factor for fostering economic and social development in the region.
BIMSTEC is the natural platform for India to implement its regional connectivity, Neighbourhood First and Act East policies. It can allow India to push a constructive agenda to counter Chinese investments, and follow best practices for connectivity projects based on recognised international norms. Now is the time not just to deliberate, but also to deliver. Now is the time to translate promises into performance.
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