It is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries.
BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.
The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economy.
The objective of building such an alliance was to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.
Unlike many other regional groupings, BIMSTEC is a sector-driven cooperative organization.
Starting with six sectors—including trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism and fisheries—for sectoral cooperation in the late 1997, it expanded to embrace nine more sectors—including agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people to people contact and climate change—in 2008.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectorial Technical and Economic Co-operation (BIMSTEC)’s Permanent Secretariat Headquarters is in Dhaka, Bangladesh.