By Arvind Padmanabhan
Nay Pyi Taw: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday called for an early conclusion of a free trade pact among the seven-member BIMSTEC to realize the full potential of grouping that represents 20 percent of the global population and $2.5 trillion in GDP.
“Trade and economic cooperation should figure high on our list of priorities,” the prime minister told the third summit of BIMSTEC that comprises India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka.
“We should aim for an early conclusion of the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement for trade in goods and also extend it to investment and services,” he added.
“Most of us here are connected with each other through one or more regional economic arrangements and it should not be difficult for us to conclude one for BIMSTEC.”