Dhaka, Bangladesh
Building BCIM economic corridor gets going

Building BCIM economic corridor gets going

Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar sign 12pt accord on promoting coop

News Desk An economic integration process of nations is set to see a significant advance with the future establishment of proposed economic corridor linking Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar under China's BRI recipe for global development. When in place, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor (BCIM EC), meant for promoting regional peace, stability and development, will be a second such corridor in this region. Under the purview of the Belt and Road Initiative, a flagship development agendum broached by Chinese President Xi Jinping, there is already in place the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC passing through the Pakistan-held part of Kashmir. The four countries in the sub-regional bloc--Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar--Tuesday stressed the necessity of further deepening cooperation and promoting substantial progress in building the BCIM Economic Corridor or BCIMEC in acronym. The countries in a meet in China reached a broad agreement in this respect in a 12-point joint statement issued Tuesday. China, India and Myanmar are already in a reported economic alignment based on oil-gas and other business potentials in Myanmar and around that country along the Bay of Bengal rim linking South and Southeast Asia. Bangladesh's integration in the economic corridor on an equitable footing is seen as one of important advances in development pursuit and connectivity. Analysts are of the view that Dhaka may be able to push for a comprehensive solution to the Rohingya crisis through scaling up negotiations with Myanmar under the fold of the bloc. A UNB report from Yuxi City (Yunnan) said Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Tuesday felt the necessity of promoting substantial progress in building the BCIM Economic Corridor. The four countries think that they should continue to improve the BCIM cooperation mechanism and the "government-support and multi-track" mode of operation. The countries came up with the understanding at the13th meeting of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Regional Cooperation Forum held along the Fuxian Lake in the city. Representatives of the four countries signed a 12-point joint statement after the meeting, says the report by AKM Moinuddin. Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi signed the statement on behalf of his government at the meet, hosted by the People's Government of Yunnan Province. The four countries emphasised that comprehensive connectivity in roads, railways, waterways, aviation, energy and digital sectors will greatly enhance regional competitiveness, according to the joint statement. They said efforts should be made to optimise the policy environment for connectivity and facilitate the efficient, systemic and orderly cross-border flow of goods and services. The countries at the meeting were of the view that the BCIM Forum serves as an important platform for the four countries to advance mutual understanding, policy dialogue, alignment of development strategies and exchanges between all sectors to promote regional peace, stability and development. They noted that the infrastructure development faces the challenge of inadequate capital investment. The countries expressed willingness to work together to innovate the application of public-private partnership in conformity with the laws and regulations of the countries to efficiently utilise the financial resources. They agreed to consult relevant stakeholders to hold a second BCIM Car Rally in the second half of the year aiming to enhance mutual understanding and cross-border friendship. The countries called for upholding multilateralism and free trade and further strengthening regional economic and trade exchanges, promoting investment cooperation and cross-border logistics. The four countries commended the role of BCIM Business Council and encourage entrepreneurs of the four countries to participate in all kinds of international economic and trade exhibitions in this region. The parties agreed to further deepen cooperation in the social, cultural and education sectors. They also reached a consensus on strengthening regional capacity building to provide intellectual support and services to regional economic and social development. The four countries agreed that cooperation in the fields of science and technology, public health, tourism, environmental protection, climate change and poverty reduction should also be promoted. Earlier in his opening remarks, Minister Tipu Munshi said, "We must see BCIM EC much go beyond the initial concept of point-to-point connectivity." Vice Chairman of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Gao Feng, head of BCIM EC Joint Study Group Rajeet Mitter and Deputy Director General of Myanmar Foreign Affairs Ministry Win Zeyar Tun led Chinese, Indian and Myanmar delegations addressed the meeting respectively. Prof Rehman Sobhan, Bangladesh Ambassador in Beijing M Fazul Karim and Consul General of Bangladesh in Kunming Md Tauhedul Islam were, among others, present. The 14th meeting of the BCIM Forum will be held in India. --

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