sustainable development, climate and energy, partnership with Africa, migration, and health,
      digitalisation, women’s empowerment, and employment.
           IBSA (India, Brazil & South Africa):                     During 2017, two IBSA Foreign
      Ministers’ meetings were held.
           The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
      (BIMSTEC) is a natural choice to fulfil India’s key foreign policy priorities of ‘Neighbourhood
      First’ and ‘Act East’. India is working with other member states to make BIMSTEC effective
      and result oriented organization to bring prosperity and development for the region.
           In South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), an informal meeting of
      Council of Ministers was held on the sidelines of 72nd United Nations General Assembly
      (UNGA) Session in New York in 2017. India participated at official and technical level in other
      meetings of SAARC including those of its regional centres/specialized bodies and sectoral
      Development Cooperation
           Development cooperation is an integral part of India’s foreign policy. In recent years,
      India’s development programmes in various countries have expanded substantially, both in
      geographical reach and sectoral coverage. This inter-alia include grant assistance, Lines Of
      Credit (LOCs), technical consultancy, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, educational scholarships
      and a range of capacity-building programmes including short-term civilian and military training
           Major developmental projects identified by the host governments as priority areas are under
      implementation in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Maldives
      in the areas of infrastructure, hydro-electriciry, power transmission, agriculture, industry,
      education, health and others. In addition, various projects initiated for development and
      strengthening of cross-border connectivity with India’s neighbours are progressing satisfactorily.
      Beyond the neighbourhood, bilateral projects in archaeological conservation, information and
      computer technology (ICT) and small and medium enterprises have been undertaken in South
      East Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.
           During 2017-I8, 10,918 civilian training slots were offered to 161 partner countries under
      the ITEC programme. These capacity building courses also included specially designed courses
      and training programmes in a variety of disciplines, based on specific requests from partner
      countries. Humanitarian assistance was rendered by India to countries affected by natural
      disasters. Medical assistance has been provided to Mozambique and Myanmar. Humanitarian
      assistance in the form of food items was provided to Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh
      and Myanmar.
      Economic Diplomacy
           The MEA through its Economic Diplomacy Division as part of its efforts to give a focused
      direction to the economic diplomacy dimension of the country’s foreign policy undertook a
      number of initiatives during 2016-17. This Division extends funding to the missions/posts to