The 4th BIMSTEC Summit concluded in Kathmandu on August 31, 2018, with the signing and adoption of the Kathmandu Declaration by all the seven members. The Summit began on August 30, 2018, in Kathmandu, Nepal. The 18-point Kathmandu Declaration is expected to enhance the effectiveness of the BIMSTEC Secretariat by engaging it in various technical and economic activities in the region.
During the Summit, foreign ministers of BIMSTEC member countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection. The current chair of BIMSTEC, Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli gave a closing speech after handing over the Chairmanship of the next BIMSTEC Summit to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. Hence, Sri Lanka will be conducting the fifth summit of the BIMSTEC.
The foreign secretaries of the BIMSTEC member countries met on August 29, 2018, for the 19th Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) of the BIMSTEC and reviewed the progress achieved so far in the areas of cooperation. The foreign secretaries discussed as to how cooperation between the member states could be made more effective and business-like.
Several measures were deliberated in the meeting, including exploring the possibility of establishing BIMSTEC Development Fund, rationalisation of areas of cooperation, and identification of core prioritised areas. The meeting recommended for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnections to further cooperation in energy sector among the member states.