The countries bordering the Bay of Bengal — India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia — are home to nearly a quarter of the world’s population. For centuries, the Bay of Bengal has served as a maritime gateway for India to Southeast Asia and further east to China. It has not only been a site for the flow of capital and goods, but also aided the movement of large numbers of migrants to port cities like Singapore and Penang. Since the middle of the 20thcentury, the significance of the Bay of Bengal, however, had receded. Today, the rise of China and India, Delhi’s ‘Look East’ policy, the acceleration of economic growth in Bangladesh and Myanmar, China’s Belt and Road Initiative and ASEAN’s growing interest in the eastern subcontinent are among the factors breaking down the barriers between South and East Asia, and reviving the economic and strategic significance of the Bay of Bengal.
The panel will reflect on the historical links between South and Southeast Asia, assess the progress on connectivity and economic integration between the two regions, and examine the implications of the new strategic dynamics in the Bay of Bengal.
Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury, Senior Fellow, ORF Kolkata
C. Raja Mohan, Director, ISAS-NUS
Nilanjan Ghosh, Director, ORF Kolkata
Rakhahari Chatterji, Advisor, ORF Kolkata
Ronojoy Sen, Senior Research Fellow, ISAS-NUS
Tan Tai Yong, President and Professor of Humanities
Sohini Nayak, Research Assistant, ORF Kolkata
Find the programme here.
The timing of this event is 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.