Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East),MEA at BIMSTEC Coastal Security workshop. Photo/ANI
Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East),MEA at BIMSTEC Coastal Security workshop. Photo/ANI

'BIMSTEC constitutes unique link between South Asia and South-East Asia'

ANI | Updated: Nov 21, 2019 06:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 21 (ANI): Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical & Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) constitutes a unique link between South Asia and South-East Asia, Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.
The MEA official made the remarks during the keynote address at the BIMSTEC Coastal Security Workshop.
"The significance attached by India to BIMSTEC, as part of our "Neighbourhood First" Policy and in the spirit of "Act East", was for all to see - Leaders of BIMSTEC Countries attended the swearing-in of our Prime Minister during his second term on May 30, 2019," she said.
We believe that regional connectivity and trade are imperative for the shared prosperity and economic growth of the entire BIMSTEC region, she said.
Thakur stressed that regular interaction, exchanges, and coordination among ports of BIMSTEC region will play a role in enlarging trade and commerce, as well as promoting coastal shipping.
She asserted that while providing unhindered sea lanes of communications and economic integration of the region, we have to be mindful of security challenges both at sea and to our coastlines.
"These include non-traditional threats such as trafficking of narcotics, weapons and people; illegal exploitation of natural resources; piracy and sea-based terrorism, damage caused by natural disasters and issues of environmental degradation and climatological changes," she said.
"Under BIMSTEC, cooperation against terrorism has been formalized under a Joint Working Group for Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crime which has advanced cooperation in the critical areas of intelligence sharing, combating the financing of terrorism, drug trafficking and cooperation on countering radicalization," she added.
Expressing confidence that this Coastal Security Workshop will bolster maritime cooperation and information sharing with full understanding of maritime concerns and threats which are prevalent in the region, she said, " India's approach is focussed on the vision of our Prime Minister of SAGAR, i.e, providing "Security and Growth for all in the Region". (ANI)