State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake says the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation should work to establish a rules-based system, guaranteeing freedom of navigation for maritime commerce, addressing maritime security threats by non-state actors.
Addressing the 16th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal the State Minister acknowledged that BIMSTEC has made significant strides in increasing cooperation among nations in the Bay of Bengal region.
Despite achieving economic growth, poverty and growing inequality continue to plague the region, State Minister Senanayake said efforts are needed to address the needs of the people in a sustainable manner.
The State Minister added Sri Lanka remains fully committed to this process of the Trade Negotiating Committee.
Senanayake noted the tourism sector makes a remarkable contribution to the economies of the adding Sri Lanka is pleased to have made considerable progress in the sector in the past years and looks forward to promoting Buddhist circuit tourism together with BIMSTEC Member States.