Date: Feb 24, 2021
BIMSTEC in 2021 This discussion will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. IST. Please note that registration is on a first come, first served basis. If your registration is successful, you will receive a confirmation email and a link through which you can join the webinar.
After twenty-three years and a sluggish pace of growth, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) has gained salience in recent times against the backdrop of changing geopolitical dynamics in the Bay of Bengal region. Bangladesh views BIMSTEC as a platform to strengthen its economic development while Sri Lanka intends to fulfill its aspirations to emerge as a major transhipment hub for the wider Indo-Pacific region. For the two landlocked Himalayan member states, Nepal and Bhutan, BIMSTEC is an opportunity to get access to the Bay of Bengal. For Myanmar and Thailand, connecting more closely with India across the Bay is an opportunity to get access to India’s consumer market and to address overdependence on China. For India, BIMSTEC is a platform to fulfill India’s key foreign policy priorities of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East.’ But contentious issues have affected BIMSTEC solidarity. India-Nepal relations — on the issue of the Kalapani border point — and Bangladesh-Myanmar relations — on the Rohingyas — are under palpable strain. Through dialogue, mutual trust can be strengthened, all the more urgent after the public health crisis brought on by the pandemic. This roundtable, organised by the Centre for New Economic Diplomacy, Observer Research Foundation, is an attempt to introspect on these emerging issues encompassing geopolitics, geoeconomics and geostrategy.


11:30 – 11:35 am. | Welcome note by Chair | Navdeep Suri 11:35 – 11:45 a.m. | Special address | Kartik Pande 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Panel discussion | Fahmida Khatun, Achyut Bhandari, Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury, Sanjay Pulipaka, Sujeev Shakya, Dinusha Panditaratne, Anchalee Kongrut and Sunaina Kumar (Moderator) 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. | Open discussion and Q&A