chapter  9
The BCIM Economic Corridor
Does it subsume the BCIM Regional Cooperation Forum?
ByPatricia Uberoi
Pages 40

This chapter tracks the transformation of the BCIM Regional Cooperation Forum, a sub-regional Track II initiative founded in Kunming in 1999, to the inter-governmental BCIM Economic Corridor project, inaugurated in 2013, and the subsequent equivocal impact of the encapsulation of the latter project within the overarching template of China’s ambitious “One Belt One Road” or “Belt and Road Initiative” for overland and maritime Eurasian connectivity. It argues that, from both a theoretical and a pragmatic perspective, the active involvement of state/provincial and local governments and civil society organisations as responsible stakeholders would be a necessary complement and support to the proposed BCIM Economic Corridor project. In this regard, a re-envisioned BCIM Regional Cooperation Forum, focused on a project-based approach to shared socio-economic, environmental and cultural concerns in the subregion, could actively promote India’s Act East Policy and the opening-up and development of India’s Northeast region.