IPAG has been engaged in the One Belt One Road initiative and on August 25, IPAG was one of the co-hosts of the conference ‘One Belt One Road and the BCIM Regional Interconnection’ held in Beijing, alongside the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
The Bangladesh-China-India- Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) is complementary to achieving the vision of ‘One Belt, One Road’. The BCIM countries fall under the ancient South-western Silk Road connecting Southern part of China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India including the northeastern states. After decades of deliberation and discussion as a Track II think tank level initiative, BCIM-EC eventually got official recognition as a Track I intergovernmental initiative in 2013.
Considering the immense potential and opportunities for cooperation, the IWEP of CASS organized a one day think tank level conference to discuss on the opportunities, identify major challenges and collectively agree on recommendations to expedite the process of BCIM Cooperation. Participants from institutions/think tanks like “The Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP), China; The Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance (IPAG), Bangladesh; Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Mumbai, India; Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India; and Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Sri Lanka”, discussed about a wide range of economic, social, and security issues related to ‘OBOR and BCIM cooperation’.
Representatives from the respective institutions agreed on the following issues:
- Identify 5 flagship or early harvest projects for infrastructure cooperation for each country and advocate for feasibility study and implementation of the projects to respective government.
- Each organization will designate one person who will conduct initial research to identify relevant country specific projects and communicate with other researchers. The purpose of this research endeavor is to make an action oriented advocacy campaign to the respective governments to expedite the BCIM cooperation.
- The Institute of World Economics and Politics will lead the initiative with direct support from other four institutions. End of October 2015 is a tentative deadline to conduct the initial research and start communicating with other researchers.