BIMSTEC Summit held in Bangkok
First BIMSTEC Summit was held in Bangkok on July 31, 2004. To begin
with, the leaders of Seven Asian countries agreed upon the rearranging
the acronym BIMSTEC in view of the increasing membership and areas
of cooperation, Thereby, the association will now be known as the
“Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and
Economic Cooperation,” or BIMSTEC for short.
leaders adopted a Summit Declaration in which they urged further
progress in ongoing areas of cooperation, including timely completion
of the FTA negotiations, development of transportation infrastructure,
interconnection of energy grids, enhancement of tourism and business
travel, and people-to-people exchanges.
In this Retreat, they also paid special attention to poverty reduction
They underscored the importance of empowerment, including through
education and self-employment, rural development, access to credit,
and making poor people bankable. Recognising the need to improve
health care and the involvement of the private sector, the leaders
agreed that these experiences will be taken up at the Ministerial
Meeting on Poverty Eradication to be hosted by Bangladesh.
Meeting welcomed India’s proposal to host a BIMSTEC Working
Group meeting on Terrorism, which would involve senior officials
with decision-making power. The Working Group would coordinate work
in such areas as intelligence and capacity building.
on the importance of protecting biodiversity and traditional knowledge,
in particular traditional medicine. The leaders to set up a network
of national centers of excellence to discuss ways to promote traditional
medicine and generic drugs, so that the poor would have access to
affordable treatment. The Meeting welcomed Thailand’s offer
to serve as lead country on this area of cooperation.
Bhutan’s offer to host a Ministerial Meeting on culture was
also welcomed. The Leaders also discussed practical ways to promote
BIMSTEC as a single tourism destination. In this connection, India
offered to host a Roundtable and Workshop of tourism ministers and
industry representatives, so that they can work out concrete ideas
to highlight the BIMSTEC area’s historical and cultural attractions.
also proposed to host a Ministerial Conference on Energy Cooperation
in 2005, which was also welcomed by the other leaders at the summit.
Thailand offered to extend a credit line on account trade for BIMSTEC
members to buy agricultural products from Thailand. The size of
the credit line would depend on each country’s need.
The Leaders of the seven BIMSTEC concluded by agreeing to task their
Foreign Ministers with the responsibility of coordinating overall
BIMSTEC cooperation. The next BIMSTEC summit will be held in India
in the year 2006.
(Source: Ministry of External Affairs, Thailand, Press Release)
Group Aims for Asian integration
The Taipei Times
July 13, 2004
Asian Shadow Regulatory Committee yesterday held an inaugural meeting
in Taipei. The group aims to advance financial integration in the
committee, composed of 14 independent experts on economic and financial
policy issues from 10 Asian countries, the US and Europe, reached
a resolution yesterday that included recommendations on how to pave
the way to the long-term realization of an Asian bond market initiative.
committee yesterday stressed the importance of a formal policy dialogue
among Asian economies for cooperation and coordination of fiscal,
monetary and exchange-rate polices and capital-account and trade
here to read further http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2004/07/13/2003178844
East: Singapore PM to India
July 10, 2004
prime minister Goh Chok Tong has said that comprehensive economic
cooperation agreement (CECA) and free trade agreements (FTAs), which
India is currently negotiating with Singapore, Thailand and the
Asean, will become the stepping stones for the evolution of an Asian
visiting leader asked New Delhi to “look east” more.
Mr Goh is the first head of government to visit India after the
UPA government assumed office and was looking forward to enhancing
bilateral relations during his stay here.“The discussions
will focus on how to engage India with Singapore, Asean and east
Asia,” he said after being accorded a ceremonial welcome at
the Rashtrapati Bhawan in presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
external affairs minister Natwar Singh, home minister Shivraj Patil
and minister of state for external affairs E Ahamed.
here to read further http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=63237
Parliament Leaders Support Fight Vs Poverty
Manilla Bulletin Online
July 6, 2004
of 37 Asian parliaments yesterday identified poverty and international
terrorism as the most crucial concerns of the region that lawmaking
bodies should tackle with immediacy. This was revealed yesterday
by House Speaker Jose de Venecia, who presided over the Executive
Council Meeting of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace
(AAPP) at the Manila Hotel.
the meeting, AAPP leaders vowed to invite the new legislative assembly
of Iraq to join the organization as part of its bid to pursue peace
initiatives among Asian and Pacific nations. It also approved the
application for membership of Palau, United Arab Emirates and Libya.
The Philippine proposal for the creation of an Asian parliament
also received support. De Venecia said the results of the feasibility
study on the proposal will be submitted by the Philippines a few
days before the AAPP holds its next general assembly in Islamabad,
Pakistan in November. The various proposals approved yesterday will
be included as part of the agenda in the Pakistan conference.
Venecia said that in the past four years, the AAPP was transformed
into a cohesive and united force for stability and peace in Asia.
"In this cause we have our parliaments – our budget-
and law-making powers – as our greatest weapon to attack the
root causes of poverty, fight terrorism and end the cycle of senseless
violence it has bred,’’ the House leader declared at
the gathering at Manila Hotel’s Centennial Hall. De Venecia
said the next AAPP General Assembly will have the theme: "Vision
for Asia: Peace and Development Through Inter-parliamentary Cooperation
here to read further http://www.mb.com.ph/MAIN2004070613462.html
of China & India : ASEAN well placed to reap benefits
July 5, 2004
rise of China and India will help create prosperity in other countries
throughout the region, especially in ASEAN, which is well placed
to reap the benefits of being the de facto hub among China, India
and Japan, said a panel of experts.
the International Conference on Competitiveness, hosted by the National
Economic and Social Development Board and The Nation last week,
Ramkishen Rajan of the University of Adelaide’s School of
Economics said the trade figures showed that ASEAN trade with China
and India was fast increasing.
here to read further http://www.nationmultimedia.com/page.arcview.php3?clid=6&id=101865&date=2004-07-05&usrsess=1
Pakistan Joins ASEAN Regional Forum
July 3, 2004
here Friday joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Regional Forum as its
full member. "It is a recognition of the fact that Pakistan
is playing an important role not just in the Islamic world, but
also in promoting regional and international peace," commented
Foreign Minister, Khurshid M. Kasuri,
who represented Pakistan at the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
to APP he said the historic admission to ARF has come after eight
years, as it had been on the agenda since 1996. Pakistan's admission
into ARF and Commonwealth also proves that Pakistan is conducting
a successful foreign policy and "the international community
recognizes the responsible role that the Government of Pakistan
is playing towards the promotion of regional and international peace,"
here to read further http://www.paknews.com:80/main.php?id=5&date1=2004-07-03
signs MoU with Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam on EDC
July 2, 2004
today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Myanmar, Laos
and Vietnam on Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC), a project
taken up by New Delhi to set up centres to provide entrepreneurship
skills to people in the South-East Asian countries. The MoU was
signed here by External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, and his
counterparts from Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
here to read further http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/001200407021926.htm
Explores Road Map for more Regionally integrated Asia
July 2, 2004
regional cooperation and integration can produce win-win results
in both the quantity and quality of economic growth, thus helping
reduce poverty throughout the region, the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) said Thursday.
long-term vision is that of a closely integrated, prosperous, poverty-free
and peaceful Asia," ADB President Tadao Chino told a conference
of regional policymakers and experts at the ADB headquarters in
by ADB's Regional Economic Monitoring Unit (REMU), the "High-Level
Conference on Asia's Economic Cooperation and Integration"
examines evolving cooperation trends within and between Asia's subregions,
and discussions centered on developing a long-term vision and road
map for a more integrated and prosperous Asia.
here to read further http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-07/01/content_1562222.htm
dialogue Partners Achieve More than Primary Objectives in Jakarta
July 2, 2004
37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial
Meeting in Jakarta achieved more than its primary objectives after
the ministers concluded Friday fruitful talks among themselves and
with their dialogue partners. The meeting has laid a milestone for
the envisioned ASEAN Community targeted for 2020 following approval
Wednesday of the plans of actions for the ASEAN Security Community
(ASC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). The ASC and
the ASCC are two of the three pillars agreed upon by ASEAN members
last October ,in Bali, to bring ASEAN into a fully integrated region,
with the ASEAN Economic Community being another pillar.
dialogue partners lent their support for the establishment of the
ASEAN Community, which they believe, will bring peace, stability
in the region and in turn will also contribute to peace and stability
in the whole Asia-Pacific region. The series of Jakarta meetings
culminated Friday when ministers or representatives of ASEAN countries
and the dialogue partners met in the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
to share views on political and security issues at regional and
here to read further http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-07/02/content_1566517.htm
ASEAN+3 Hold Meeting in Jakarta
July 1, 2004
ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
and three East Asian countries, including China, Japan and the Republic
of Korea (RoK), began an annual meeting in Jakarta on Thursday,
following the 37th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM). At the meeting,
the foreign ministers discussed regional and international issues
of common concern, especially the recent six-party talks over the
nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and the power transfer in
Iraq. They also reviewed the implementation of the ASEAN+3 meeting's
decisions and the East Asia consultative group's recommendations
and exchanged ideas on East Asia cooperation.
here to read further http://www.vnagency.com.vn/NewsA.asp?LANGUAGE_ID=2&CATEGORY_ID=33&NEWS_ID=106810