The Fourth Meeting of the Eminent Persons’ Group on the Future Directions of BIMSTEC

On 25 – 27 June 2024, H.E. Mr. Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, Eminent Person from Thailand, chaired the Fourth Meeting of the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on the Future Directions of BIMSTEC at the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Meeting was held to discuss recommendations for the future cooperation of BIMSTEC, building upon the success of previous meeting in May 2024.

The meeting discussed ways to strengthen BIMSTEC sectoral cooperation, particularly Trade Investment and Development Sector and Security Sector, exchanged views on enhancing BIMSTEC’s institutional strength, and deliberated on the work plan of BIMSTEC to ensure its alignment with the Bangkok Vision 2023.

The Eminent Persons also held a virtual meeting with BIMSTEC’s stakeholders, namely (1) Former Secretary-General of BIMSTEC, (2) BIMSTEC Network of Policy Think Tanks and, (3) Chamber of Commerce and Industry of BIMSTEC Member States, to share ideas on various areas such as the role of BIMSTEC Secretariat, BIMSTEC’s civil society engagement, the prospect of BIMSTEC FTA, and the role of private sector.

The Eminent Persons’ Group was an initiative endorsed by the Leaders at the BIMSTEC Leaders Retreat in Gao, India 2016, aiming at transforming BIMSTEC into a more result-oriented organization. The EPG is assigned to review the work of BIMSTEC and provide practical recommendations on the future directions of BIMSTEC that are aligned with the Bangkok Vision 2030. These recommendations will be submitted to the Leaders at the Sixth BIMSTEC Summit, hosted by Thailand in September 2024.