IBCIM economic corridor: facilitating sub-regional development

IBCIM economic corridor: facilitating sub-regional development

The Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation’s (BCIM) Economic Corridor (EC) initiative, a complex entanglement between security, economic and national interest, exemplifies Foreign Secretary Jaishankar's statement.

This paper attempts to analyse the economic aspect of this cooperation, focusing on the reasons for stalling of the BCIM EC’s progress, and explores measures to take the initiative forward. Despite all four countries having agreed to implement the EC in principle, admittedly, there has been a lull in its progress. The EC’s route has been put in place and is almost completely motorable. However, an analysis of the trade intensities and patterns among the four countries demonstrates that potential trade volumes are inadequat e to justify its implementation. Nonetheless, the EC continues to emphasise cooperation on the “Zone 3” pillars of Trade, Transport and Energy, which avoid addressing the existing realities of the BCIM countries’ underdevelopment.
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