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The BIMSTEC Free Trade Area: Economic Cooperation, Opportunities, and Challenges

The BIMSTEC Free Trade Area: Economic Cooperation, Opportunities, and Challenges
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Author(s): Mahboob Muhammad Ali (Dhaka University, Bangladesh) and Anita Medhekar (Central Queensland University, Australia)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 21
Source title: Evaluating Trade and Economic Relations Between India and Southeast Asia
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Anita Medhekar (Central Queensland University, Australia) and Harpreet Kaur (Central Queensland University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5774-7.ch006

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Abstract

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional cooperation between Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, and Thailand since the liberalization of these economies. Member countries need to be more proactive for integrated regional cooperative hubs to enhance trade and investment opportunities in health and other sectors of the economy to cope with the pandemic and its impact. The aim of this chapter is to show how BIMSTEC, a regional cooperative body, can be a driver for socio-economic development, inter-regional trade, and investment opportunities for BIMSTEC countries and cope with COVID-19 and its impact. The BIMSTEC area is home to approximately 1.6 billion citizens accounting to 22% of the worlds inhabitants with a joint gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion. Unemployment situation of ‘new poor' can be tackled through close cooperation among the BIMSTEC nations in an effective manner to achieve ‘pareto optimality' through trade and investment among member countries.

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