chapter  Seventeen
18 Pages

Strengthening BIMSTEC Integration: The New Agenda

ByPrabir De, Suthiphand Chirathivat

This chapter presents a set of policy measures in order to take forward the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) integration process in the different decade of its establishment. Improving BIMSTEC integration, particularly in terms of connectivity, commerce and culture, would pave the way in integrating South and Southeast Asia through BIMSTEC. A stronger BIMSTEC means a stronger Asia. Assistance of Japan as development partner will strengthen the BIMSTEC integration. BIMSTEC is the only regional integration initiative that is to witness a free trade agreement operating even after signing of the framework agreement almost a decade back. India’s involvement in BIMSTEC holds promise to foster the regional integration process. BIMSTEC can play an important role in the Indo-Pacific sphere of activities. BIMSTEC is a natural choice for strengthening India’s footprints in the neighbourhood under the Act East Policy.