Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority


Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTC)


An international organisation involving a group of countries in South Asia and South East Asia, BIMSTC's member countries include Sri Lanka , Bangladesh , India , Myanmar , Thailand , Bhutan and Nepal .

According to the Bangkok Declaration on the Establishment of BIST-EC, the aims and purposes of BIST-EC/BIMST-EC are to create an enabling environment for rapid economic development, accelerate social progress in the sub-region, promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest, provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities, cooperate more effectively in joint efforts that are supportive of, and complementary to national development plans of member states, maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations, and cooperate in projects that can be dealt with most productively on a sub-regional basis and which make best use of available synergies.

BIMSTEC was initiated with the goal to combine the 'Look West' policy of Thailand and ASEAN with the 'Look East' policy of India and South Asia. So it could be explained that BIMSTEC is a link between ASEAN and SARRC. Seven members of BIMSTEC covers 13 Priority Sectors led by member countries in a voluntary manner namely, Trade & Investment, Technology, Energy, Transport & Communication, Tourism, Fisheries, Agriculture, Cultural Cooperation, Environment and Disaster Management, Public Health, People-to-People Contact, Poverty Alleviation and Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes. What make BIMSTEC different from other organization would be that BIMSTEC represent one of the most diverse regions of the world, be it, way of life, religion, language, culture, etc. BIMSTEC clearly separates issues of development into 13 Priority Sectors besides focusing only on economic cooperation which make BIMSTEC covers all aspects regarding the word 'developing'. BIMSTEC provides a unique link between South Asia and Southeast Asia bringing together 1.3 billion people - 21 percent of the world population, a combined GDP of US$750 billion, and a considerable amount of complementarities. A study shows the potential of US$ 43 to 59 billion trade creation under BIMSTEC FTA.