Nepal unlikely to host fourth Bimstec meet this year

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jun 3, 2016-

Nepal is unlikely to host the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) Summit this year. 

According to officials, busy schedule of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other pressing issues like post-quake reconstruction and constitution implementation are the reasons why Nepal will not be hosting the Bimstec meeting this year.

Nepal had made commitment in 2014 during the third Bimstec Summit in Myanamar to hold the fourth meeting. “It is difficult to manage time of all heads of government/state, hence we have may not be able to host the Bimstec Summit this year,” said a senior foreign ministry official. A decision on the new venue and date is likely to be decided during the bloc’s foreign secretary level meeting to be held in August in Kathmandu. Nepal is the current chair of the regional body whose secretariat is in Bangladesh, Dhaka. 

Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand are the members of the body that works on 14 various sectors including trade and investment, technology, energy, transportation and communication, among others.

Prime Minister Oli has a packed calendar this year with commitment to attend at least four international meetings and convention after June.

PM Oli has to participate in the annual UN General Assembly in New York in September. After returning from New York, he is scheduled to attend the Asian Cooperation Dialogue meeting in Thailand, Bangkok in October.

PM Oli will also be attending the 8th Brics Summit to be held in India where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited all heads of the state/government of the BIMSTEC countries. In November, PM Oli will fly to Islamabad, Pakistan, to attend the 19th Saarc Summit. 

The last regional meeting Nepal hosted was the 18th Saarc Summit in 2014.

Published: 03-06-2016 08:16

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