Regional implications of Bangladesh’s Economic Success

Source: Indian Express

Context: ground:

  • The International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook has predicted that Bangladesh’s per capita GDP will overtake that of India this year.
  • International development institutions have asked the rest of the subcontinent and developing countries around the world to learn much from Dhaka’s experience or the Bangladesh model.

What are the regional implications of Bangladesh’s economic success?

  • Rise of Bangladesh: Over the last five decades, South Asia, for most purposes, has meant India and Pakistan. Now, the economic rise of Bangladesh is changing world’s South Asian perspective.
  • Fall of Pakistan as a power in south Asia: With the rise of Bangladesh GDP over Pakistan’s GDP, the Bangladesh will gain geopolitical importance steadily in coming years whereas the Geopolitical weight of Pakistan will continue to fall negative.
  • Promotion of regional integration: Bangladesh’s economic growth can accelerate regional integration in the eastern subcontinent. The BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) sub-regional forum will have more significance for India.
  • Increasing role of Bangladesh in Indo pacific: With economic success of Bangladesh drawing attention from countries in East Asia, including China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore and also the US, the status of Bangladesh as global power is going to intensify in the new geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific.
  • Enhanced opportunities for Eastern India: The economic rise of Bangladesh could boost India’s national plans to accelerate the development of its eastern and north-eastern states through connectivity and Integration.

What hinders India’s Cooperation with Bangladesh?

Progress in India- Bangla relations

  • Parliamentary approval of the boundary settlement in 2015.
  • India accepted the 2014 international arbitration award on the maritime boundary dispute between India and Bangladesh.
  • Progress in strengthening economic ties and connectivity between eastern India and Bangladesh in recent years

Hindrance to India-Bangla relations

  • Though India and Bangladesh are eager to promote greater cooperation between West Bengal and Bangladesh there has been little political will in Kolkata.
  • In case of Assam, the issue of migration continues to impose major political constraints.
  • Also, recent Citizenship Amendment Act has strained India-Bangla relations.

What is the way forward?

  • India should jointly develop and pursue with Dhaka an ambitious framework for shared prosperity that would help India consolidate the golden chapter in India-Bangla relations.
  • For this, India has to shift the focus from legacy issues to future possibilities.
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