Ranong Port of Thailand and port trusts of Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata have inked three Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) to cut down sea travel time by half between the two countries.
The MoUs were signed at the first-ever two-day Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Conclave of Ports, being held at Vishakhapatnam on November 7-8, that aims to provide a platform to strengthen maritime interaction and port-led connectivity initiatives among member countries.
These MOUs will contribute to BIMSTEC’s objective of strengthening connectivity and is a part of India’s Act East Policy, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
“These MOUs will enhance economic partnership by cutting down the sea travel time between India and Thailand from 10 -15 days to 07 days,” it read.
India attaches great importance to BIMSTEC which links five countries from South Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka and two from South-East Asia – Myanmar and Thailand.
The BIMSTEC region brings together 1.67 billion people, equivalent to around 22 per cent of the world population and a combined GDP of USD 3.71 trillion.
Four BIMSTEC summits have been held so far, the last one at Kathmandu in 2018. The previous summits were held in Bangkok (Thailand) in 2004, New Delhi (India) in 2008, Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar) in 2014.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Youth Advancement, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh M S Rao, Minister for Industries, Commerce and Information Technology, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh M. G. Reddy, along with Member of Parliament from Vishakhapatnam M. V.V. Satyanarayana also attended the Conclave.