Below is an excerpt of the write-up of the 2nd BIMSTEC Foundation Lecture I gave on the 24th of August.
As the economies of the littoral states grow, the need for connectivity will be heightened. Greater connectivity will make possible increased economic interactions and thereby further accelerate growth. With four of the littoral states among the 10 fastest growing economies in the world as shown in Figure 2 based on IMF projections. If the adjacent states of Cambodia and Laos are included six of the 10 fastest growing economies are in the region.
The considerable investments needed for building the connectivity infrastructure will cause the littoral states to look for assistance. Already China is active in this regard. Geopolitical considerations will drive greater investments by Japan and India, as already evident from Japan’s agreement to finance the Matarbari deep sea port in Bangladesh and the financing of the Kaladan project by India, which is actually an Indian domestic infrastructure project running through Myanmar.
The full text will be online later in September.