India seeks closer BIMSTEC partnership:
India has proposed an FTA for BIMSTEC.
- The BIMSTEC FTA has been signed by all member nations to stimulate trade and investment in the parties, and attract outsiders to trade with and invest in the BIMSTEC countries at a higher level.
- Subsequently, the “Trade Negotiating Committee” (TNC) was set up, with Thailand as the permanent chair, to negotiate in areas of trade in goods and services, investment, economic co-operation, trade facilitations and technical assistance for LDCs.
- Once negotiation on trade in goods is completed, the TNC would then proceed with negotiation on trade in services and investment.
- BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement draft:
- It was discussed on 1 December 2017 in New Delhi, to facilitate coastal shipping within 20 nautical miles of the coastline in the region to boost trade between the member countries.
- Compared to the deep sea shipping, coastal ship require smaller vessels with lesser draft and involve lower costs.
- Once the agreement becomes operational after it is ratified, a lot of cargo movement between the member countries can be done through the cost effective, environment friendly and faster coastal shipping routes.
- BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity:
- The BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity, finalized under India’s chairmanship of the expert group last year, envisages a seamless multimodal transport system across the region.
- This will stimulate intra-regional trade and investment in the region.
READ MORE: Daily Prelims Booster
READ MORE: Daily News Analysis