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Dhaka has proposed to host the 20th Meeting of the BIMSTEC Working Group on Rules of Origin (WG-ROO) and tourism related meetings virtually this year, reports BSS.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen made the proposal while taking part in the Special Session of the BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) virtually held Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a foreign ministry press release said.

The meeting, chaired by Sri Lankan foreign secretary admiral professor Jayanath Colombage, finalised the revised draft Provisional Agenda and the Joint Statement of the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting to be held virtually on Thursday.

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At the meeting, Bangladesh foreign secretary stated that as the BIMSTEC leads the country for trade, investment and development, Dhaka is committed to strengthen BIMSTEC cooperation in this important field.

The relevant ministries and agencies of Bangladesh are ready to host all required meetings and events in this regard, Masud added.

He expressed that the implementation process of BIMSTEC cooperation in various sectors must be expedited on priority basis to harness quick dividends for our peoples in the Bay of Bengal Region through exploitation of the full potentials of this region.

“BIMSTEC platform can be used in addressing multi-prong challenges in the Post-Covid-19 era in a more effective and powerful manner if we can activate the Forum effectively and fully with our collective efforts,” he added.

Wednesday’s meeting also discussed the convening of the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit and finalized the draft declaration.

The meeting also endorsed the BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity for approval and adoption by the Seventeenth BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and the Fifth BIMSTEC Summit respectively.

The 5th BIMSTEC Summit is expected to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2021 subject to the COVID situation.

Masud led a four-member Bangladesh delegation comprised of additional foreign secretary Md Shamsul Haque (SAARC and BIMSTEC) and other officers.

The foreign secretaries and senior officials of all the seven BIMSTEC member states joined the meeting.

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