Bangladesh wants BIMSTEC forum to fulfill the Father of Nations’ Dream for regional cooperation: Foreign Minister
Dhaka, January 28 2021:
Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen told the new Secretary General of BIMSTEC that Bangladesh wants the Father of the Nation’s dream of regional cooperation to be fulfilled through BIMSTEC. The Foreign Minister received the newly appointed Secretary General of BIMSTEC Tenzin Lekphell at his office today.
Dr. Momen stated that, the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman back in 1972 expressed his dream of economic and social prosperity of the South Asian peoples through working with the neighbours in this region. Since then, regional cooperation has been an integral component of the constitution and foreign policy priorities of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attaches high importance to the BIMSTEC Forum as a tool of regional movement which is manifested in hosting the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka. By the instruction of Prime Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took an initiative to construct a new multi-storied iconic building for the BIMSTEC Secretariat, he added.
Foreign Minister expressed his pleasure on Tenzin Lekphell’s appointment as the third Secretary General of BIMSTEC nominated by Bhutan, the first country to recognize Bangladesh as an independent country. He welcomed him in Bangladesh and assured to extend all sorts of support from the Government of Bangladesh during his tenure here.
Dr. Momen hoped that the Secretary General will be able to play a pivotal role as a bridge among Member States for thriving hard to achieving the goals through early conclusion and implementation of necessary agreements, memorandum of understanding (MoUs) and other required legal documents in these sectors to ensure overall development and well being of the peoples of BIMSTEC region. He emphasized on the implementation of the ‘BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity’ for the greater benefit of BIMSTEC region.
During the call on, Foreign Minister stated that the implementation process of BIMSTEC cooperation in various sectors must be expedited on priority basis to harness quick dividends for our peoples in the Bay of Bengal Region through exploitation of the full potentials of this region. Foreign Minister urged upon the new Secretary General that BIMSTEC in its 24 years of existence must produce visible results now.
BIMSTEC forum provides an excellent platform to combat the devastating impact of COVID-19 in BIMSTEC region. BIMSTEC platform can be used in addressing multi-prong challenges in the Post-Covid-19 era in a more effective and powerful manner. The Secretary General can play an effective and vital role in faster coordination and facilitation of this process, he further added.
The Foreign Minister reiterated that connectivity can play a vital role in accelerating the pace of economic development of BIMSTEC region through facilitation of trade and investment, tourism promotion, people to people contact etc.