In1997 was created the
BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
In 1997 Myanmar
joined the BISTEC as a full member and the name was changed to
Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMST-EC). In 1998
Nepal was granted observer status. Full membership has been granted to
Bhutan in 2003.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMST-EC) comprising 7 members: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal
. The main objective of the Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMST-EC) is to promote multi-sectoral cooperation for
economic and social progress of the Bay of Bengal region.
BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative) provides a sole link between the Association Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and
the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) bringing together 1.3 billion people (21% of the
world population), a combined Gross domestic product (GDP) of USD 750
billion and a total trade volume of 59 billion USD under the Bay of Bengal
Initiative free trade area scheme.
Substantial progress has been made in the negotiations on the BIMSTEC Free trade agreement for Trade in products.
Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMST-EC) member countries (Bangladesh, India,
Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal) agreed to create the BIMSTEC Free trade area Framework Agreement
in order to promote
International trade and
Foreign direct investment, and attract
do business with and invest in BIMSTEC
Example of the course BIMST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand):
The main objectives of the BIMSTEC Free trade area Framework Agreement
- strengthen and improve economic, trade and Foreign direct
investment (FDI) cooperation;
- progressively liberalize and promote foreign trade in products and services, create a transparent, liberal and facilitative
Foreign direct investment (FDI) regime;
- research new areas and develop appropriate measures for deep cooperation
- make easy the economic integration of the least developed countries in the BIMSTEC
region, and reduce the development gap among the
With the view to speed up the growth of regional trade in services,
Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMST-EC) members
agree to enter into negotiations to liberalize trade in services
Bay of Bengal Initiative (BIMST-EC): Areas of Economic Cooperation
- Mutual Recognition agreements, conformity assessment, accreditation procedures, and standards and technical regulations;
- Customs cooperation;
- International finance;
- e-Commerce; and
- Business visa and travel facilitation.