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The Editorial Analysis- Cohesion, Co-operation

BIMSTEC Summit 2022- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

The Editorial Analysis- Cohesion, Co-operation_40.1

 

BIMSTEC Summit 2022 in News

  • Recently, the Prime Minister of India participated in the 5th BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Summit.
  • The 5th BIMSTEC Summit is hosted in virtual mode by Sri Lanka, the current chair of BIMSTEC.

The Editorial Analysis- Cohesion, Co-operation_50.1

 

Key Points about BIMSTEC Summit 2022

  • Adoption of the BIMSTEC Charter: the Fifth BIMSTEC summit promises to re-energize the 25-year-old grouping at a time of growing global uncertainties.
    • The Charter is expected to help impart a more connected vision to the seven-member organization (BIMSTEC).
  • Leading the Security Pillar: India has decided to lead the ‘security pillar’ out of the seven designated pillars of the revived BIMSTEC,
    • This has given India’s regional aspirations a new orientation, away from the stalemated SAARC that has been unable to meet since November 2014.
  • With his call for a BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has outlined India’s vision to bolster trade connectivity in the grouping.
  • Comparative Advantage: Unlike SAARC, which is burdened by India-Pakistan hostilities, BIMSTEC is relatively free of sharp bilateral disagreements and promises to provide India with a cooperative sphere of its own.

5th BIMSTEC Summit

संपादकीय विश्लेषण- सामंजस्य, सहयोग

Thorny areas in the BIMSTEC Grouping

  • Delayed Decision: BIMSTEC Charter took a long time before it was finalized, showing the inherent challenges faced by the BIMSTEC Grouping.
  • Rohingya Crisis: It has weakened bilateral Bangladesh-Myanmar ties, with Dhaka seeking full repatriation of the refugees and Naypyidaw disinclined to respond positively to international pleas.

BIMSTEC Agriculture Meet

 

Way Forward

  • BIMSTEC will require sustained bilateral and group-level discussions to prevent problems such as the Rohingya crisis from becoming impediments to the smooth delivery of economic and security outcomes.
  • India too will have to ensure equally sustained political engagement with partners such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to prevent any domestic political spill-over from affecting bilateral and group-level working relationships.
  • Sign a BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement: An FTA spanning the maritime resource-rich members such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka could bring dramatic gains for all members.
  • Learning from the failures: The security- and trade-related lessons from the troubled SAARC and SAFTA experiences also ought to serve BIMSTEC well in the long run.
  • A ‘coastal shipping ecosystem’ and an interconnected electricity grid, in addition to the adopted Master Plan for Transport Connectivity, have the potential to boost intraregional trade and economic ties.

 

Conclusion

  • India will have to take a leadership role in assuaging any apprehensions among the smaller members of intragroup power imbalances.
  • India should also strive to facilitate greater cross-border connectivity and flow of investments by lowering barriers to the movement of people and goods.

5th BIMSTEC Summit

5th BIMSTEC Summit

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