By Rajiesh Seetharam 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stressed the need for BIMSTEC countries to regulate the fishing industry. 

Addressing the fifth BIMSTEC summit held in Colombo, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said “Fishing is a source of livelihood to a significant population of this region. Many sophisticated vessels are fishing illegally in this region. Therefore we have to collectively establish a mechanism to safeguard the region from over fishing and unregulated, illegal fishing.”

The President further said that Bay of Bengal has become an important region for global connectivity and trade, such that international shipping liners regularly traverse in these waters, “It is essential to work together to see that threats to these waters and regional States are curtailed. 

Such threats include traditional crime, including narcotics, smuggling, human trafficking, and terrorism, as well as the spread of religious extremism in this region.” 

He said managing such threats requires increased intelligence sharing, and inter-government and inter-agency cooperation among BIMSTEC members.

The President said Sri Lanka will welcome investments in projects, and industries that will require technological know-how and will develop the country’s human capital and productivity while creating new opportunities.