PM Modi arrives in Kathmandu for BIMSTEC Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday to participate in the two-day 4th BIMSTEC Summit that will focus on enhancing regional connectivity and boosting trade.
“The Prime Minister landed in Kathmandu a short while ago. He will be taking part in the Bimstec Summit being held in the city,” Modi’s office tweeted around 9 a.m.
Nepal Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel received Modi at the Tribhuvan International Airport. The Indian leader, who is on his fourth visit to Nepal, was also given a guard of honour.
Ahead of his departure, Modi on Wednesday said that his participation in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit symbolises the priority India accords to deepening ties with India’s extended neighbourhood in Southeast Asia.
“During the Summit, I will have interactions with all the leaders of Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) to further enrich our regional cooperation, enhance our trade ties and advance our collective efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Bay of Bengal region,” he said.
The Indian prime minister is expected to meet Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena and Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the summit on Thursday.
“I also look forward to meeting Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli and reviewing the progress we have made in our bilateral ties since my last visit to Nepal in May 2018,” he added.
The two prime ministers will also inaugurate the Nepal Bharat Maitri Dharmashala at the Pashupatinath temple complex.
Bimstec, which came into existence on June 6, 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration, comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The bloc brings together 1.5 billion people, or 21 per cent of the world’s population, and has a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion.
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