New Delhi, May 6: India and Bangladesh will jointly work towards strengthening regional cooperation and development in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. That apart the changing geopolitical contours driven by the Russia-Ukraine crisis have also necessitated boosting of regional cooperation.
While External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar recently paid a visit to Dhaka, authorities of both the countries are set to continue holding regular meetings on the same.
‘We have discussed the issue with India during the recent visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar. We discussed how to strengthen regional cooperation. We will be holding more regional meetings,’ Dhaka-based newspaper, the Daily Star, quoted Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen as saying.
According to the Minister, initially the two countries will be in discussion but eventually it will be expanded to the other South Asian countries.
Global supply chain has been severely dented in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic.
South Asia is among the least integrated regions in the world, in terms of trade and people-to-people contact.
‘Regional cooperation can support a green, resilient, inclusive development and an integrated recovery,’ Cecile Fruman, World Bank’s Director, Regional Integration and Engagement for South Asia, earlier told India Narrative in an exclusive interview.
At present, intraregional trade is only 5-6 per cent of the total trade, and less than a third of its potential, she said.
‘Intraregional investments are even lower at barely 0.6 per cent of the total inward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the world, and 2.7 per cent of the total outward FDI to the world,’ Fruman said, adding that an increase in regional trade and investments would unlock productivity gains, employment opportunities and growth prospects.
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