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TIMES NOW featured our Distinguished Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Amb. Rajiv Bhatia on their show to discuss the fourth BIMSTEC Summit. Watch the full episode here.
The 21-year-old regional organisation, which will hold its fourth summit on August 30-31, was formed because of the opportunities to make headway in economic and social development through cooperation, but it has achieved modest success. It has a relevance independent of SAARC or ASEAN and goals of its own to pursue
Regional groupings in South Asia have turned out to be like diligent pupils whose report cards show performance below par. The reasons for such an impasse range from political divergences to the economic downturn and the much talked about China factor that has many implications for India
This regional grouping has to deliver on promises in collaboration with governments and corporate India so that neglected issues – from the Rohingya crisis to the scheduling of the next summit, and arriving at an agreement on the Free Trade Area – enter the national discourse
This regional grouping, which was envisioned as a potential bridge between SAARC and ASEAN, turns 20 on June 6. It achieved very little until last year, when efforts to revive its original mission began quite by accident. It has the potential to make greater strides if member states adhere to their commitments.
India’s global economic engagement, especially with the developing world, has increased in the last two decades, but trade with South Asia has remained low. It holds the potential for building greater productivity and more inclusive growth in India and the region
Perhaps South Block did not gain as much as it had hoped to: there was a gulf in member states’ perceptions. One takeaway, therefore, for policy makers was that while noise has its uses, it is now time for some quiet diplomacy
The World Happiness Report 2016 has listed India at 118th place – the lowest rank among BRICS. While there is a strong case for holistic metrics that map actual well-being, research in happiness needs to be taken with a pinch of scepticism.
Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to SAARC countries from March 1 is an opportunity to examine the political trajectories in the region. While democracy in some countries like Sri Lanka is on an upswing, in others, like Bangladesh, it is in decline. With China’s growing economic influence in South Asia, can Indian democracy be an effective counterpoint?