PM leaves for Myanmar for BIMSTEC summit
Mar 03 2014 , New Delhi
"Security challenges both natural and man-made, require our collective vision and determination to be overcome," Singh said in a statement before his departure for the Myanmarese capital, Nay Pyi-Taw.
"In the security sphere, we have steadily put in place enabling legal instruments for regional approaches to international terrorism, transnational crime, drug trafficking and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, the need for which is more salient in today's integrated world than ever before," he said.
Singh said the BIMSTEC lay at the crossroads between SAARC and ASEAN, drawing its energy from the natural convergence of the countries around the Bay of Bengal.
"Connectivity and sub-regional cooperation in trade and investment, energy, climate, tourism, agriculture and other areas provide the spark for the growth engine in our region," he said.
The Prime Minister stressed that peace, stability and development in BIMSTEC countries, with over 20 per cent of the world's population and over USD 2.5 trillion worth of GDP, was 'indispensable', for the forward march of Asia as a whole.
BIMSTEC has evolved and matured further as a group since the last summit in New Delhi in 2008, he said.
Singh stressed that India's bilateral relations with BIMSTEC countries are among its most important in the world.
On the sidelines of the two-day summit, he hopes to exchange notes with leaders from other Member states, whom he described as 'close and friendly neighbours of India'.
With the impending establishment of a Permanent Secretariat in Dhaka and appointment of a Secretary General, BIMSTEC is poised to play a more active role in regional integration and cooperation, he said.
Several BIMSTEC centres are being launched throughout the region, including three in India, to foster greater technical exchanges between member countries, he said.