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BIMSTEC as key to a new South Asian regional order

  • Published
    8th Dec, 2022

Context:

December 8th is commemorated as SAARC Charter Day, but it is no hidden truth that it has failed to achieve its objectives. Regional instruments such as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral, Technical, and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) hold the key for the future.

Significance of regionalism

  • Neighbourhood First Policy: SAARC is the only intergovernmental organization with a pan-South Asia reach. It could have served India’s interest in the entire region, but it couldn’t.
  • Bilateralism over regionalism: Bilateralism cannot substitute, regional or multilateral efforts. Regionalism has brought immense success in other parts such as East Asia and Africa.
  • New Regional Economic Order: Regionalism can deliver prosperity in the South Asian region throughthe trade-development model, based on incrementalism and flexibility.
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