En­hanced Bor­der Con­nec­tiv­ity and Eco­nomic In­ter­link­ages with BIMSTEC would En­able the Rise of In­dia's North-east­ern Re­gion

FICCI Business Digest - - News -

It is im­por­tant to create a BIMSTEC Eco­nomic Fo­rum to fa­cil­i­tate high­level of ex­change of views be­tween pol­icy mak­ers and busi­ness com­mu­nity.

Am­bas­sador Shahidul Is­lam Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, BIMSTEC

South Asia and South­east Asia en­com­pass some of the most vi­brant and fastest grow­ing coun­tries of the world to­day. BIMSTEC (Bay of Ben­gal Ini­tia­tive for Multi-Sec­toral Tech­ni­cal and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion) as a group­ing acts as the bridge link­ing th­ese re­gions and pro­vides an in­sti­tu­tional mech­a­nism to en­able re­gional eco­nomic syn­ergy. BIMSTEC re­gion en­com­passes 1.6 bil­lion peo­ple hous­ing al­most 22 per cent of the world pop­u­la­tion, and a com­bined GDP of US$ 2.7 tril­lion.

De­spite its sev­eral ac­com­plish­ments, BIMSTEC is also one of the least in­te­grated re­gions of the world as mem­ber coun­tries con­sti­tute only 4 per cent of world trade as com­pared to ASEAN (29 per cent) and SAARC (7 per cent). Re­newed for­eign pol­icy and strate­gic fo­cus sig­nalled by the 2016 BRICSBIMSTEC (BRICS: Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa) Outreach Sum­mit in Goa and sev­eral that fol­lowed pro­vide timely en­cour­age­ment for the pri­vate sec­tor to ar­tic­u­late a proac­tive en­gage­ment strat­egy. For In­dia specif­i­cally, en­hanced bor­der con­nec­tiv­ity and eco­nomic in­ter­link­ages with BIMSTEC could also en­able in­te­gra­tion and eco­nomic devel­op­ment of In­dia's north-east­ern re­gion.

Ac­cord­ingly, in align­ment with the In­dian for­eign pol­icy fo­cus on BIMSTEC as a com­mon se­cu­rity and devel­op­ment space, FICCI con­vened a core group on BIMSTEC in 2017 – a year that com­mem­o­rated the 20th an­niver­sary of BIMSTEC. The

Piyush Sri­vas­tava, Joint Sec­re­tary (BIMSTEC & SAARC), Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Gov­ern­ment of In­dia; Am­bas­sador Shahidul Is­lam, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, BIMSTEC; Am­bas­sador Ra­jiv Bha­tia, Chair, FICCI Core Group of Ex­perts on BIMSTEC and Vikramjit Singh Sah­ney, Padma Shri, CoChair – FICCI Core Group of Ex­perts on BIMSTEC.

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