- Outcomes: 3rd BIMSTEC summit
- Why is BIMSTEC important for India?
- Potential: Trans border Connectivity
- What has China done in BIMSTEC countries?
- What has India done for BIMSTEC?
- Mock Questions
There are two types of summits in the world:
- High profile such as Climate change summit under UNFCC; ASEAN, G20 etc. (something that directly/ indirect/y hurts @all three levels of exam)
- Chillar summits like this BIMSTEC. For them- don’t spend two days in PH.D. Focus on the following four areas only and finish within two hours.
|that is usually newspaper + MEA briefs|
|that is usually uploaded @PIB/MEA|
|that is usually uploaded on given summit’s official site|
Anyways, let’s check BIMSTEC summit on those parameters.
|1997||Formed in 1997, as BIST-EC(Bangladesh, India, Shri Lanka and Thailand economic cooperation),|
|2014, March||3rd Summit @ Nay Pyi Taw (New Capital of Myanmar.)THEME: Partnership for Harmony and Prosperity.|
|??||Nepal will host the 4th Summit (cycle continues in alphabetical order.)|
Hardly any Major outcome, but anyways, here it goes:
- We’ll setup Permanent Secretariat @Dhaka, Bangladesh
- 2015 = declared as a Year of BIMSTEC Tourism.
- We’ll try to conclude the BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Goods by the end of 2014. [and then extend it to investment and services as well.]
- We’ll try to ratify convention related to
- international terrorism
- trans-national organized crime
- drug trafficking
- We’ll try to get everyone sign BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
Filler lip service:
(Following words are common whether it is BIMSTEC or Burkina Paso, Kenya or Canada)….
- MSME partnership, technology transfer
- energy cooperation
- business visa
- fisheries, agro, livestock, healthcare (traditional medicine): joint R&D
- Poverty Alleviation
- cross border crime and terrorism
- And most importantly, sustainable development (= Desi liquor.)
so far we are done with (A) basics (B) outcome / highlight. Now comes the analysis/evaluation part.
|SAARC||Paki Hostility. SAARC is like a big neighborhood- with India at center and small/poor countries on periphery. This peripheral nations struggle on both economic and political fronts. India did try to lead them but Paki Hostility prevents any collective efforts.|
|ASEAN||Chinese bullying. Besides, we are not member countries of ASEAN.|
- BIMSTEC= 20% of world’s junta, GDP >2.5 Trillion USD = big market for Indian exports + Manipur can be promoted for medical tourism. Buddhist heritage sites for religious tourism and so on.
- BIMSTEC = a route to connect the South Asia with Southeast Asia. Observe:
|Chennai 2 Bangkok|
|Andaman Nicobar islands.|
|ASEAN Master Plan for Connectivity|
Even Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan and USA have shown interest in financing some of these projects.
- Although BIMSTEC offers lot of potential, but it has remained as ineffective as SAARC.
- The relatively rich /powerful countries = India and Thailand. If they take lead, others will follow.
- But in recent times, Thailand is caught up in internal coups, political riots = their leadership doesn’t really have the time / mood to look at bigger issues outside their national border.
- Infect, Thailand’s lady PM did not even attend this latest summit, because of ongoing turmoil.
- If India takes the lead catalyst role, then rest of them will follow. But India has remained passive.
- Most of the transport project that we saw above= they’re incomplete, just paper-talk, lip service, stuck for one reason or another.
Now compare India’s laziness with China.
- China already has special economic agreement with most BIMSTEC members (Except Bhutan and India)
- China uses Yunnan province as “base” for connecting with BIMSTEC. For example:
- They Completed oil and gas pipelines linking Yunnan (China) with Arakan coast (Myanmar). That too within four years. We cannot finish even a highway project with this much time.
- They have plans to high-speed train links from Yunnan (China) into Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
|Sri Lanka:||China helped upgrading Colombo port; another port project in Hambantota; soon planning to sign FTA and so on.|
|Nepal||China’s Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Nepal itself want connectivity upto Kathmandu. dry port in Larcha in Nepal|
List not exhaustive, This was just tip of an iceberg.
India looks after four key areas under BIMSTEC : Environment; Terrorism; Transport; Tourism; (=ETTT)
ok done many thing. But Asli maal comes from trade relations, oil-energy-gas pipelines. That’s where India lags behind China.
Our North Eastern states don’t have good rail-road connectivity with rest of India.
- Public sector has been lax in developing such infra @NE region.
- Private sector is not interested in developing such infra. @NE region.
- We saw how Manipur can be promoted as a hub for medical tourism. But Manipur is often subjected to “Economic blockades” by outfits= even LPG and petrol prices skyrocket. This negative publicity hurts tourism potential.
Our Government needs to fundamentally change the way it looks and treats North East. Otherwise, all these talks about trans-national corridors will remain hollow.
Q1. Correct statements
- All BIMSTEC countries have coastlines along with Bay of Bengal
- All BIMSTEC countries are also members of ASEAN
- Both A and B
- neither A nor B
Q2. Correct statements about Third BIMSTEC summit held at Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar.
- Nay Pyi Taw is the capital of Myanmar
- Cambodia was inducted as a member state of BIMSTEC.
- 2015 was declared as “The Year of BIMSTEC Tourism”
- only 1 and 2
- only 2 and 3
- only 1 and 3
- all of them
Q3. Recently, Indian and Chinese official met for initiating BCIM corridor project. This project aims to connect
- Beijing, Chennai, Mandalay, Dhaka
- Banglore, Chennai, Indore, Mumbai
- Kunming, Kolkata, Mandalay, Chittagong
- None of Above
Q4. Correct Statements by Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Facility
- This is a joint initiative by Shipping ministries of India and Myanmar
- To setup new ports at Dugarajapatnam (Andhra) and Kaladan (Myanmar).
- This project will also provide Rail-Road connectivity from Myanmar to Manipur.
- only 1 and 2
- only 2 and 3
- only 1 and 3
- None of them
Answer in 200 words each
- “Trans-border connectivity with South East Asian countries is essential for both India’s strategic as well as economic interests.” Elaborate.
- “BIMSTEC could be a potential game-changer for the north-eastern India’s quest for prosperity.” Elaborate.
- Write a note on following (i) Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Facility (ii) BCIM corridor
Answers to MCQs: 1D; 2C; 3C; 4D
- Inputs from Ms.Rajtanil Solanki.
- MEA: for history, PM speech, steps, outcome
- C. RajaMohan: for Analysis
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