International Cooperation Division

International Cooperation Division

(Department of Science & Technology)

Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

BIMSTEC was conceived as sub-regional forum bringing South Asia and South East Asia regions . It is one of the forums to give India's 'Act East' policy a distinct orientation to the development process of North Eastern region of India.


BIST-EC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand- Economic Co-operation) was formed in a Meeting held in June 1997 in Bangkok. Myanmar (observer at the June 1997 meeting) was admitted in Dec 1997 and the organization was renamed as BIMST-EC. The grouping expanded beyond the littoral states of Bay of Bengal when Nepal (observer since 1998) and Bhutan were admitted in Feb 2004. The grouping's name was changed to BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) at the 1st Summit Meeting held in Bangkok in July 2004.


BIMSTEC organizes inter-governmental interactions through Summits, Ministerial Meetings, Senior Officials Meetings and Expert Group Meetings and through BIMSTEC Working Group (BWG) based in Bangkok.

The BIMSTEC has a website (, which has been revived with the efforts of Bangladesh and ADB.


The 13th Ministerial Meeting agreed to locate BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat in Dhaka. India is contributing 32% of the cost of Secretariat reflecting its strong commitment to BIMSTEC process. The MoA on establishment of Secretariat was signed on 4 March 2014 and was officially inaugurated by PM Hasina on 13 September 2014.


BIMSTEC has identified 14 priority areas of cooperation where a member country takes lead. India is the lead country for Transport & Communication, Tourism, Environment & Disaster Management and Counter Terrorism & Transnational Crime. The "Science & Technology" area is lead by Sri Lanka and the Department of Science & Technology (DST) Govt of India is the nodal point for this sector from Indian side.

The 4th Meeting of the BIMSTEC Expert Group on establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer Facility (TTF) was held in Colombo, Srilanka during 21-22 November 2017. The Meeting was hosted by Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) and was coordinated by BIMSTEC Secretariat, Dhaka Bangladesh. A draft text of the Memorandum of Association (MoA) for establishment of BIMSTEC Technology Transfer faculty Centre (BIMSTEC TF) was finalised during the Meeting. The MoA is likely to be concluded during next BIMSTEC Summit which is likely to take place in Nepal during 1st half of 2018.

For further information on BIMSTEC Science & Technology Cooperation program, please contact Mr.Raj Kumar Sharma