The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), founded in 1997, can help reconnect one of the world’s least integrated regions.
As Washington, Rawalpindi, Kabul, and the Taliban recalibrate their positions, Afghanistan is entering a very fragile moment.
The controversies surrounding autonomous weapons must not obscure the fact that like most technologies, AI has a number of non-lethal uses for militaries across the world, and especially for the Indian military.
There appears to be a need for greater cooperation in the maritime domain in the Bay of Bengal, given the increasing rivalries in the region.
While trade liberalization and transportation infrastructure should remain BIMSTEC’s key priorities, the Bay of Bengal will not re-emerge as a regional space unless there are significant investments to foster people to people exchanges.
Beyond its economic potential and strategic significance, the Bay of Bengal distinguishes itself globally by abysmal levels of integration, reflecting a deep divide between South and Southeast Asia.
The resolution of many outstanding maritime territorial disputes and the tentative steps for political and security cooperation in the region provide the basis for imagining a Bay of Bengal community that will benefit all the peoples of the region.
Two recent developments point to the new directions in which the north-western Subcontinent could evolve.
Public debate around a universal basic income—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has grown significantly after the 2016-17 Economic Survey outlined such a scheme for India.
Despite its status as a key maritime hub in global terms and all its economic promise, the Bay of Bengal’s potential is hamstrung by a lack of close internal economic integration among the countries that call the region home.