Trade and Investment in BIMSTEC Countries: Status, Challenges and Possible Solutions
This chapter examines the status, challenges and opportunities in trade and investment in the member countries. Transport infrastructure, a key component to connectivity, is among the core elements of trade and investment magnitudes of any economy. The important insight is that out of total Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) trade, India and Thailand account for almost 91 percent share in both 2014 and 2015, where India’s share alone is about 60 percent. The share of all BIMSTEC countries in world trade is 3.81 percent and 3.69 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively. BIMSTEC intra-regional trade is significantly lower compared to many other regional blocks. Investment flows are often strong indicators of commitments to investment and cross-border trade cooperation. BIMSTEC countries should undertake concrete measures to improve trade and investment facilitation, and ultimately ease of doing business.