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.
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.
Faced with growing geopolitical turbulence and more aggressive maritime maneuvering, India and France are eager to expand their strategic engagement in the Indo-Pacific.
India and other countries around the Bay of Bengal should invest greater resources in the multilateral institution BIMSTEC to promote regional connectivity and shared prosperity.
Despite repeated efforts, including at the highest political levels, Ottawa has seemed reluctant to address India’s concerns about the question of Sikh separatism in Canada.
Instituting a Universal Basic Income requires public support spanning demographic lines, executive backing, and strong macroeconomic fundamentals.
India must recognize the reality of regional conflicts in the Middle East and limit their impact on India’s ability to secure its goals in the region.
The idea of a universal basic income (UBI)—periodic and unconditional cash payments to all citizens—has gained renewed attention amid growing concerns about technological unemployment in advanced economies.
India may not need a formal “Look West policy” to realize the new opportunities in the region if New Delhi views the Middle East on its own merits, pays sustained political attention, and delivers on the Indian economic and security commitments made at the highest levels.
Beyond just military power and humanitarian relief, India’s capacity to serve as a first responder to crises in the region also requires the strategic will and skill to help solve neighboring countries’ political conflicts.
The unfolding crisis in Maldives draws attention to the perennial question about whether and when India should intervene in the internal politics of its neighboring countries.
For New Delhi, the challenge is to patiently address the domestic concerns of its partners and develop frameworks for military cooperation that both are in fact, and are seen to be, mutually beneficial.
As India reaffirms the centrality of ASEAN for Asia’s peaceful future this week, New Delhi must back its words with concrete proposals for stronger defense and security cooperation with the region.
The challenge for India lies in finding the right balance between competing imperatives in the volatile Middle East amidst the pursuit of enlightened self-interest.
It is necessary to move past the idea of artificial intelligence being a replacement for humans across the board, and begin having a deeper conversation about its effectiveness as a tool in the hands of humans.
The United States and India are on the cusp of translating a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific into tangible cooperation. Defense trade could prove an important catalyst.