Finance State Minister advocates for collective agreements in BIMSTEC talks

February 25, Colombo (LNW): Participating in discussions regarding the growth and sustainable development of BIMSTEC countries convened in New Delhi, India, Sri Lanka’s Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe underscored the imperative of fostering active collective agreements among member nations of the BIMSTEC group, which comprises Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Addressing the gathering, the minister highlighted the lapse in progress concerning an agreement established nearly two decades ago aimed at formulating a framework for a free trade agreement among these nations.

While bilateral agreements exist between the involved countries, Minister Semasinghe emphasiaed the potential for a regional agreement to transcend these individual pacts, facilitating broader success.

He stressed that such an agreement would fortify trade relations among member nations and enhance regional security by addressing vulnerable areas.

Identifying the challenge of increasing financing amidst elevated global interest rates, the minister stressed the necessity of stimulating private investment and capital inflows within the region.

Semasinghe further underscored potential opportunities for investment and trade in the energy sector among BIMSTEC countries, noting ongoing engagement in energy trade and highlighting Sri Lanka’s renewable energy potential, particularly in wind and solar energy, beyond traditional hydropower sources.

Moreover, he affirmed Sri Lanka’s efforts to promote regional investment in power generation and ongoing discussions with India regarding electricity connectivity to facilitate energy trade.

The Minister also emphasised Sri Lanka’s engagement in global forums, particularly regarding climate change, advocating for financial assistance to vulnerable countries.

He noted the imperative of translating rhetoric into tangible actions to realise these objectives.

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Source:: LNW English