Connectivity Needed for BIMSTEC to Succeed

11 April 2017

Experts gathered for the Conference on Facilitating Connectivity in Bay of Bengal Region on 11 April 2017 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to discuss how to drive economic growth among Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) member countries. The conference was organized by think tank Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) and the BIMSTEC secretariat.

“There was great trade in this region and there is no reason why that cannot happen again,” said Mr. Sumith Nakandala, Secretary General, BIMSTEC. He noted that the Bay of Bengal region was “historically well connected.”

BIMSTEC member countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand. The organization connects South Asia and Southeast Asia and serves as a platform for inter-regional cooperation between South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and Association of Southeast Asian Nations members.


The BIMSTEC region hosts 21% of the world’s population and is seen to hold huge potential for trade. Mr. Bipul Chatterjee, Executive Director, CUTS, said national development plans to develop connectivity should be “in sync with larger plans for regional connectivity.”

Various experts at the conference weighed in on the importance of connectivity to development in BIMSTEC. Mr. Takayuki Kawakimi, First Secretary, Japanese Embassy in Dhaka, noted that the Bay of Bengal Growth Belt is “very much relevant for BIMSTEC” growth.

Professor Selim Raihan, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, called for the linking of the 100 economic zones Bangladesh plans to develop to attract investment that will both facilitate national economic growth and promote regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region, he said. Dr. Raihan stressed the need for greater investment to promote regional connectivity.


Related Links:

US Gov'ts MCC to Invest in South Asian Energy Connectivity

The Government of the United States' Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is finalizing a $500 million investment to help...
Read More >>

Commentary: 25 years of ASEAN–India Integration

This commentary by Mr. Prabir De, Professor at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, and Coordinator,...
Read More >>

India Releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

The Government of India, led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, launched the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP)...
Read More >>

Impact of Goods and Services Tax on Bhutan and Nepal’s Third Country Trade

Charges for different port and Customs services for Bhutan and Nepal’s third country import/export through India will not...
Read More >>

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Ink 14 Deals for Cooperation

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka signed 14 instruments of cooperation in coastal shipping, agriculture, higher education, foreign service training,...
Read More >>

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Shipping Companies Mull Container Feeder Service Joint Venture

The Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) and Sri Lanka's Ceylon Shipping Corporation plan to launch a container feeder service...
Read More >>

SAARC Countries Urged to Focus on Removing Non-tariff Barriers

Mr. Younus Dagha, Federal Secretary of Commerce, Pakistan, has urged the member countries of the South Asian Association...
Read More >>