The unresolved Rohingya issue and the political situation in Myanmar are hampering the full potential of cross-regional connectivity and cooperation in South and Southeast Asia, said Masud Bin Momen, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh.

He made the comment during a discussion on “assessing the state of trade and connectivity in South and East Asia” on the second day of the regional “Bay of Bengal Conversation” yesterday.

For all the latest news, follow the Daily Star’s Google News channel.

The three-day conference was hosted by the Center for Governance Studies (CGS) at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the capital.

Momen said the existing rail connectivity between India and Bangladesh has greatly contributed to people-to-people contact and business prospects.

Bangladesh is exploring prospects centered on power and energy cooperation through bilateral ties between India, Bhutan and Nepal, he said.

Momen also hoped for a connection between Nepal and Bhutan through inland waterways, which Bangladesh and India currently enjoy. In addition, Bangladesh is considering direct shipping and coastal connection with Malaysia, Sri Lanka and other countries in the region.

“We are looking carefully at the potential of BIG-B, an initiative of Japan, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. regional connectivity prospects and designed appropriate policies,” he said.

But the Rohingya issue and the political situation in Myanmar stand in the way, he said.

“We believe that a speedy resolution to the Rohingya crisis through their dignified return…is a critical component to realizing the full potential of inter-regional trade and connectivity,” he added.

Mustafizur Rahman, Fellow of the Center for Policy Dialogue, moderated the session.

Sanjay Kumar Bhardwaj, professor of South Asian studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said India understood that economic prosperity cannot be achieved alone. Neighboring countries need to be connected and grow together.

“Bangladesh and India have a complex interdependence, which compels the two countries to think together, beyond shared historical and cultural ties,” he said.

“Bangladesh is India’s biggest development partner, the fastest growing economy in South Asia, and also India’s biggest trading partner in the region,” he said. declared.

About The Author

Related Posts