India and Sri Lanka Photograph:( Reuters )
Colombo has also sent invites for finance ministers meet to Myanmar's U Wunna Maung lwin, who has been appointed as the foreign minister of the country by the military after the coup
Sri Lanka has invited India for the group's foreign ministers virtual meet on April 01. The South Asian country is this year's host of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).
BIMSTEC is a regional grouping has 7 members — namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand — all of whom share coastal borders with the Bay of Bengal.
SAARC and BIMSTEC are two regional groupings in South Asia. BIMSTEC is seen connecting South Asia with ASEAN, with two of its members from that grouping. With SAARC being redundant due to Islamabad being adamant on several issues, BIMSTEC is seen as a natural choice for India. In fact, in 2019, during Narendra Modi's second swearing-in as the prime minister of India, all the leaders of BIMSTEC had participated.
Colombo has also sent invites for finance ministers meet to Myanmar's U Wunna Maung lwin, who has been appointed as the foreign minister of the country by the military after the coup. This has sparked a row over legitimacy being given to the military's actions.
Sri Lanka is expected to host the group's leadership summit later this year. The fourth BIMSTEC summit took place in Nepal's Kathmandu in 2018. BIMSTEC is working on a masterplan for Transport Connectivity which envisages 264 projects of different sizes among all its members.