BIMSTEC a neo-strategic and pivotal harbour in regional cooperation
Academician and columnist
A hard time to access and to overcome! COVID is like the unfinished business. Waned the confidence, connectivity ; tantamount to cremate the natural growth and development. But this pandemic showed a new way, forced to the neo-sphere of cooperation when we were confined. Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation or BIMSTEC could be a platform to confront the situation and to continue the wheels of development. It was1997, officially formed as BIST-EC in Bangkok, Thailand. This BIMSTEC , launched in 2004 . In Bangkok the first summit of this organization was held paralally. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are the esteemed members of the organization. Of course Bay of Bengal and the region are the key factors. Acceleration of the Importance of this region is already kicking up. Strategic management is also a point , otherwise a self-isolation will be formed like as COVID. And ‘ miles to go’ in diplomacy and strategy. These are not only the business of the bureaucrats ; collective practice of the academia but also crucial. We ,the young academicians , have rapt attention in geo-political, socio-econo-cultural phenomenon. In this regard research Institutions and think tanks are exercising the trends and possibilities of these every moments . From 25th to 26th October, 2021 an International Web-based symposium was held on ‘BIMSTEC : A Vehicle for Growth and Development’ , organized by Institute of Social And Cultural Studies, India and in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Director of ISCS , Arindam Mukherjee set the tune of this symposium in his opening remarks. Secretary General of the BIMSTEC , Tenson Lekphell addressed the audience . Splendid presence of Foreign Secretary, MEA, India Harsh Vardhan Shringla was also remarkable.
Speakers were from the BIMSTEC countries. Prof.Sachin Chaturvedi, Shri Rajiv Bhatia , Prof.S.K. Mohanty, Dr. Akshay Dhariwal ,Dr. Uttam Sinha, Lt. General Rajesh Panth, Prof. Suranjan Das, Prof. Ishani Naskar and others were from India in the symposium. From Bangladesh , Dr. Fahmida Khatun, Prof. Mustafizur Rehman,Dr. Mahfuz Kabir , Prof. Delwar Hossain, Ms.Moutusi Islam were there. Former Secretary General of BIMSTEC Shri Sumith Nakandala , Dr. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera were from Sri Lanka , Dr. Posh Raj Pandey ,Prof. Shiva Raj Adhikari ,Dr. Paras Kharel Ms. Dikshya Singh from Nepal , Professor Surat Horachaikul from Thailand ,Dr. Pandup Tshering from Bhutan , Shri Thiam Hee Ng was from Philippines. There were earnest efforts to touch the perspective of BIMSTEC from many layers and seams . ‘Post COVID economic recovery and restoring growth momentum in BIMSTEC’ ,’ 25 years of BIMSTEC: A way ahead’, ‘Strengthening regional value chains-role of connectivity and trade facilitation’ ,’Regional cooperation in public health infrastructure and health care services’ , ‘ Cyber security amongst BIMSTEC nations : Challenges and prognosis’, ‘ Disaster management, maritime cooperation and costal security’ ; beamed with insight . Now brainteasers and interrogative discourses are sending signals : Is there any chance of BIMSTEC to be an alternative of SAARC ( South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) ? How it will be abled to confront the death trap of Dragon ? who is breathing on the neck of BIMSTEC region. Linkages of culture and civilization already formed a common platform for this organization but how the governments of these countries shall use the ground , this is the matter of observation ! But civilizational talk among the BIMSTEC countries is an option. Have to opt possible every backchannel diplomacy or track ll diplomacy to make BIMSTEC meaningful.