Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for concluding BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement in the greater interest of the member states of the regional body as its Secretary General Shahidul Islam paid a courtesy call on her.
"The completing the process of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Coastal Shipping Agreement is very much needed for enhancing the waterway connectivity among the members of the regional organisational," PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted the premier as saying while briefing reporters after the meeting at the PM's Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban here this evening.
The premier simultaneously put emphasis on bolstering trade cooperation among the BIMSTEC member countries, he said.
She said the connectivity between Bangladesh and India will be strengthened further as the routes, which were closed down after the 1965 war, are being reopened gradually.
The BIMSTEC secretary general informed the prime minister that the process is on to complete BIMSTEC Motor Vehicle Agreement and BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement.
He also briefed the premier about the activities of BIMSTEC Secretariat and said all the seven member countries have already appointed directors at the secretariat located in Dhaka.
Shahidul Islam, a Bangladesh ambassador, said the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are interested to support the development fund of BIMSTEC.
Earlier, former British MP Keith Vaz paid a courtesy call on the prime minster, the press secretary said.
The premier, he said, apprised the former labour party MP of the present situation of forcibly displaced Rohingyas.