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Asian Confluence calls for promoting people to people contacts in BIMSTEC

As Katmandu gets ready to host the summit meet of the BIMSTEC, “The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation” with leaders of the eight member nations (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand), and Sri Lanka gets ready to take over the chairmanship, the Asian Confluence along with other think-tanks participated in a roundtable on advancing BIMSTEC cooperation in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Organized by the Delhi Policy Group and the Asia Foundation, these are a part of a series of roundtables consisting of experts from various academia, think-tanks, government and civil society organizations to bring about an actionable policy recommendation on areas such as connectivity, energy cooperation, trade, people to people contact and gender equitable solutions in the context of BIMSTEC. As part of the series, the Asian Confluence represented by its Executive Direction, Sabyasachi Dutta has been group mentor in each roundtable on the theme of fostering people to people contact in the BIMSTEC region, besides representing the relevance and role of the development of the North eastern region of India in advancing BIMSTEC cooperation. The group has so far met thrice already in Delhi (India), Yangon ( Myanmar) and Colombo ( Sri Lanka). In his opening address in Colombo, the Indian Ambassador, Taranjit Singh Sandhu described people to people contact at the very heart of the success of BIMSTEC.

The Asian Confluence was also part of the FICCI expert group on creating industry recommendations for BIMSTEC. Earlier last month, an Asian Confluence delegation also called on the BIMSTEC secretary general in Dhaka and discussed ways in which the North Eastern region can play a larger role translating the benefits of the BIMSTEC. BIMSTEC master connectivity plan is under development and its implementation will open up many possibilities for the region.