BIMSTEC foreign ministers agree on creating crisis response mechanismsA Foreign Ministers’ Retreat held in Bangkok considers establishing digital payment systems.
Foreign ministers from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) have agreed on creating crisis response mechanisms to coordinate different contingencies.
During the BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Bangkok that concluded on Monday, they also discussed food, public health, energy, financial security, as well as trade and economic cooperation.
The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the meeting also considered establishing digital payment systems and trade settlements, as well as strengthening cooperation in cyber security and prevention of transnational crimes.
The ministers also deemed it essential to exchange views and coordination on global and UN-related issues, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate change.
Other topics raised during the session included BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection, agriculture technology, cultural cooperation, youth exchange, and diplomatic training, according to a statement by the Thai ministry.
The ministers welcomed the progress on the setting up of an Eminent Persons Group to chart out the road map for the organisation to ensure the greatest benefits to member countries and their peoples, reads the statement.
Foreign ministers agreed to hold a retreat on a regular basis, preferably in the first quarter of each year.
Meanwhile, India has offered to host the next BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of the forthcoming UNGA in September 2023.