Nepal's role in Asia through SAARC and BIMSTEC Courtesy: Khabarhub
7 October 2021

Nepal’s role in Asia through SAARC and BIMSTEC

On 6 October 2021, Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, spoke to Dr. Pramod Jaiswal, Strategic Affairs Editor at Khabarhub on the role of Nepal in BIMSTEC and SAARC, in an analysis of the 17th BIMSTEC ministerial meetings. He also highlighted the role of SAARC and BIMSTEC in countering Chinese influence in the region.

Chinese Port invesments Courtesy: The Maritime Executive
19 August 2021

China’s ports in the Indian Ocean

China is rapidly expanding its influence in the Indian Ocean Region, as its massive investment in ports starts to materialise. From smaller investments of $78 million in Djibouti to large ones like $1.6 billion in Gwadar, these are funded largely by Chinese state-owned enterprises. This infographic shows the 17 ports being built by China, which are now important strategic, economic and political outposts for the country.

SAARC and BIMSTEC Courtesy: Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement
1 July 2021

Revitalizing SAARC and BIMSTEC

On 27 June 2021, Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Gateway House, chaired a session on Revitalizing SAARC and BIMSTEC. This was part of the Global Conclave 2021, hosted by the Nepal Institute for International Cooperation and Engagement (NIICE), Kathmandu. Bhatia spoke about the present state, past trajectory and future challenges and opportunities for regional and sub-regional cooperation through SAARC and BIMSTEC.

bimstec needs to reinvent itself Courtesy: @MEAIndia | Twitter
14 April 2021

BIMSTEC needs to reinvent itself

The 17th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) ministerial meeting was held on 1 April 2021. Though the grouping is ready to move forward, a number of obstacles stand in the way of this, including regional tensions, uncertainties surrounding SAARC and China's involvement in the multilateral. As BIMSTEC is to celebrate the silver jubilee of its formation next year, can it achieve its goal, to effect “a paradigm-shift in raising the level of cooperation and regional integration"?

India, IOR and blue economy Courtesy: Common Wealth
25 February 2021

India, IOR and the blue economy

The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) presents a unique opportunity to develop a Blue Economy, with security, sustainability and business profitability as its three pillars. An IOR Defence Ministers' Conclave held on 4 February provided a platform to discuss regional cooperation, linking development with defence, and emphasized India's pivotal position within the IOR.

BIMSTEC: Potential and Opportunities Courtesy:
22 February 2021

BIMSTEC: Potential and Opportunities

During the Bay of Bengal Economic Dialogue 2021 on, Post-COVID Challenges in the Bay of Bengal Region, Amb. Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House addresses the staggered growth of BIMSTEC, whilst also highlighting its potential as a regional grouping. He identifies the lack of political commitment, bureaucratic inertia and insufficient engagement of the Third Space and disregard for the region as a community as the chief obstacles to a successful initiative.

shutterstock_1091235845 Courtesy: Shutterstock
15 October 2020

UN: Necessary but reformed

The UN turned 75 this year but instead of grand celebrations, the world witnessed an empty UNGA with world leaders addressing it via video screening because of the pandemic. The UN is under unprecedented stress and being shown up for its inability to tackle the challenges of today like the pandemics, climate change, terrorism or global peace and security. The institution's key governing structures, especially the UN Security Council, are inadequate and demand reform. India must now use gritty resolve to ensure its place in these governing structures.

42555677410_4bbbd59769_c Courtesy: MEA/Flickr
27 February 2020

BIMSTEC or SAARC?

South Asia’s speedy economic development depends on the level of integration between countries in the region. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) have lost their momentum. But both platforms have their uses and can be revived creatively

shutterstock2_1027256470 Courtesy: Shutterstock
13 February 2020

Pakistan under FATF’s critical review

The upcoming Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary session 16-21 February will be crucial for both Pakistan and Iran as the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures undertaken by the two countries will be reviewed by the 39 member states of the FATF. Decisions will be taken on their retention or removal from the grey list and black list respectively