The 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) was hosted by Nepal on February 7, 2017 in Kathmandu. This marked an important step forward to realize the action oriented agenda for BIMSTEC agreed by the leaders at their Retreat hosted by Prime Minister
Modi in Goa in October 2016.
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India, as the Lead Country in the areas of Counter Terrorism and Trans-national Crime, Environment, Transport and Tourism sectors, offered several important initiatives in these areas.
In keeping with the high priority BIMSTEC Members attach to combat terrorism and trans-national crime, it was agreed that India would host the first ever meeting of BIMSTEC National Security Chiefs to discuss action against spread of terrorism, violent extremism
and radicalisation. India would also be hosting an international conference on countering radicalization.
To boost regional connectivity, India would organize a meeting of the Working Group to finalize the BIMSTEC Motor Vehicles Agreement. An MOU on Grid Interconnection has also been finalized to facilitate electricity trade in the region. The Trade Negotiating
Committee would shortly take up trade and trade facilitation matters. Given the region's vulnerability to natural calamities, India would organize the first annual disaster management exercise. A Task Force on Traditional Medicine has been created that would
meet in India to work on strengthening the role of traditional medicine for holistic health care. A network of BIMSTEC tour operators would be organized in India to boost tourism through measures such as composite tour packages.
The Meeting also discussed progress in several other key BIMSTEC initiatives in trade and investment, energy, technology, fisheries, climate change, culture, people-to-people contacts and other sectors.
In keeping with the strong commitment of Members to BIMSTEC, progress is to be reviewed in the Meeting of Foreign Ministers to be hosted by Chair Nepal in June later this year. This meeting would also make preparations for the BIMSTEC Summit to be hosted later
February 07, 2017