New Delhi: Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs and Education Rajkumar Ranjan Singh ceremonially handed over a cheque of USD 1 million for the BIMSTEC Secretariat's operational budget as a follow-up to the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the last BIMSTEC Summit.

BIMSTEC Secretary General Tenzin Lekphell who was on a visit to India called on Rajkumar Ranjan Singh on August 24, 2022.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Secretary General Tenzin Lekphell also held discussions on rapidly taking forward cooperation in specific areas led by India including counter-terrorism, disaster management, maritime cooperation and energy security.

During the visit, detailed discussions were held with the visiting BIMSTEC Secretary-General on the consolidation and further development of the BIMSTEC institutional architecture under the BIMSTEC Charter adopted at the last Summit on March 30, 2022.

Ongoing cooperation activities in the three BIMSTEC priority areas of poverty eradication, connectivity, and trade & investment were also reviewed.

Secretary-General met Deputy National Security Advisor, Secretary Power, and Member-Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority, and reviewed BIMSTEC cooperation in sectoral areas.

The visit of BIMSTEC Secretary-General Tenzin Lekphell was held at the invitation of Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs.

He also participated in a public interactive session hosted by Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) titled "Rejuvenating Growth through partnerships-Role of BIMSTEC" which was attended, inter alia, by Ambassadors of Thailand, Bhutan and Myanmar and senior diplomats of BIMSTEC diplomatic missions in New Delhi, read a MEA press release.

BIMSTEC comprises of 7 member states (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand) which are littoral to, or dependent upon the Bay of Bengal. During the last BIMSTEC Summit hosted by Sri Lanka, Leaders adopted and signed the BIMSTEC Charter completing its evolution into a full-fledged regional organization with a distinct international legal personality.

India is fully committed to working with BIMSTEC member states to further the BIMSTEC regional cooperation agenda and to build BIMSTEC into a vibrant regional organization for development and economic cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region.