New Delhi: The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Secretary General Tenzin Lekphell received a warm welcome on his arrival in New Delhi on Monday, as a part of his four-day official visit to India.

Taking to Twitter, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Arindam Bagchi said, "A warm welcome to BIMSTEC Secretary General Tenzin Lekphell on his arrival in New Delhi today."

He is visiting India from August 22-25, 2022 at the invitation of Saurabh Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

During his visit, Lekphell will hold discussions with senior Indian officials on how to make the BIMSTEC organization and cooperation forward in keeping with the mandate of the BIMSTEC Leaders, read an MEA press release.

Lekphell assumed office as the Secretary-General of BIMSTEC on 06 November 2020. He is the third BIMSTEC Secretary-General. He holds a Master's Degree in Agriculture Development from Wye College, University of London, and bachelor in Science from Sherubtse College, University Delhi.

After graduation, he volunteered to join the Royal Bhutan Army as a Militia Officer and served the country for about five years. Thereon, he joined the Bhutanese Civil Service and served for more than a decade.

India leads the Security cooperation pillar on the BIMSTEC platform that includes Disaster Management, Marine Cooperation, and Energy Security, all of which are vital for the attainment of SDG targets in the region, added the release.

At the 5th BIMSTEC Summit held in Sri Lanka (March 3, 2022), Leaders of the 7 BIMSTEC member states (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) adopted the BIMSTEC Charter thereby confirming the transition of this grouping of states, littoral to or dependent upon the Bay of Bengal, into a full-fledged regional organization with a distinct international personality.

India had stressed the importance of rapidly consolidating this newly created regional organization, and moving BIMSTEC cooperation to the next level, read the release.

BIMSTEC allows India to pursue two core policies- Neighbourhood First (primacy to the country's immediate periphery), Act East (connect India with Southeast Asia), and Security & Growth for all In the Region (SAGAR).

The grouping also provides the opportunity for the economic development of India's north-eastern states - by linking them to the Bay of Bengal region via Bangladesh and Myanmar.

It also allows India to counter China's creeping influence in countries around the Bay of Bengal due to the spread of its Belt and Road Initiative.

BIMSTEC is a new platform for India to engage with its neighbours with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) becoming dysfunctional because of differences between India and Pakistan.