Bangkok, 17 July 2023 (TDI): Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Ali Sabry participated in the first Retreat of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) held today in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC member states discussed matters of common interest in an informal setting.

During the Retreat, the Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Minister stressed the need for the member states to agree on a common vision, including having an action plan with short, mid and long terms priorities.

Ali Sabry noted that the action plan will be aimed at implementing the areas of cooperation which were pointed out during the discussion.

The Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC member states discussed matters of common importance openly and informally.
BIMSTEC Foreign Ministers in the meeting.
Meeting of Sri Lankan FM with Thai Counterpart

The Minister met the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand alongside the Foreign Minister and discussed matters of bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Matters regarding the early finalization of the negotiations on the Sri Lanka-Thailand Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the promotion of Sri Lanka as a destination for Thai tourists, and Sri Lanka’s application to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership (RCEP) were captured in the discussion.

Sri Lanka discussed investment opportunities in Myanmar

On the sidelines of the meeting, the Sri Lankan Foreign Affairs Minister met Than Swe, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar. Both parties recalled the long-standing bilateral relations between the two countries.

Also Read: Sri Lanka successfully ratifies Domestic CTBT process, says CBTO

Both Ali Sabry and Than Swe discussed opportunities available for Sri Lankan investors in the areas of power and energy, education, banking, and Information Technology in Myanmar. The two officials also discussed the need for collaboration to address human trafficking.


BIMSTEC is a regional organization established in 1997, initially known as BIST-EC. The objectives of BIMSTEC are to accelerate the economic growth and social progress of member states through joint efforts and to promote strong cooperation and mutual assistance on matters of common interests in the social, economic, technical and scientific fields.