Nay pyi daw: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has urged the members of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) to improve collaboration in fighting terrorism and also work on signing a convention on extradition.

“We must seek early ratification of the Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Trans-National Organized Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking and early signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. We should also commence negotiations on a BIMSTEC Convention on Extradition,” Dr. Singh said.

The Prime Minister also called for early conclusion of BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

“Trade and economic cooperation should figure high on our list of priorities. We should aim for an early conclusion of the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement for trade in goods and extend it to investment and services”,” he said.

He further emphasized that most of the nations in BIMSTEC connected with each other through one or more regional economic arrangements and it should not be difficult for us to conclude one for BIMSTEC.

Dr. Singh recounted that India is working with BIMSTEC members to improve physical connectivity through various projects such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project, the Asian Highway Network, the ASEAN Master Plan for Connectivity and others.

“India will also soon launch a direct shipping line to Myanmar that will enhance our region’s growing maritime links,” he said.

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