Recently India has invited by BIMSTEC to attained the oath ceremony of an Indian prime minister but did not invite SAARC nation, perhaps India wants to keep away from Pakistan. BIMSTEC is very important in terms of demographic dividend and GCP.
In an effort to integrate the region grouping was formed in 1997, originally with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand and later included Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. Now it includes five countries from ASEAN, is a bridge between South Asia and South-East Asia. It includes all the major countries of South Asia.
BIMSTEC bridges South Asia and South East Asia due to the following important aspects –
- The Bay of Bengal is the largest bay in the World. Ones on fifth (22%) of the World’s population live in the seven countries around it, and they have a combined GP close to $2.7 million.
- All the countries in the region have been able to sustain average annual rates of economic growth between 3.4% and 7.5% from 2012 to 2016.
- The Bay also has very untapped natural resources.
- On fourth of the World’s traded goods cross the Bay every year.
In terms of connectivity, BIMSTEC has at least three major projects –
- Kaladan Multimodal Project
- Asian trilateral Highway Connectivity
- BBIN have signed a pact for the movement of goods and vehicles.
India’s State in their region –
As the region largest economy, India has a lot of Stakes.
- BIMSTEC connects not only South and Southeast Asia, but also the ideologies of the Great Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal
- For India, It is a natural platform to fulfil our key foreign policy priorities of ‘Neighbourhood first and across East’
- From the Strategic perspective, the Bay of Bengal a funnel to the Malacca Straits has emerged a key theatre for an increasingly assertive China in maintaining its access route to the Indian Ocean.
- China mounts assertive activities in the Bay of Bengal. It is in India’s interest in the consolidation of internal engagement.
So BIMSTEC is very import for and it’s neighbour. But India should emerge as the leader to make BIMSTEC more successful. BIMSTEC should be provided with the proper fund and working staff.