The two-day 11th Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Forum recently in Dhaka with a call to the countries for coming up with joint ventures in the energy sector and joint exploration of natural resources for ensuring energy security in the region.
‘Energy security has remained a major concern for all the countries of the BCIM region and there are significant opportunities for joint initiatives in investment, exploration and cross border trade in the energy sector within the region,’ said a joint statement issued by the BCIM Forum on the day.
BCIM Forum was initiated in 1999 in Kunming of China as part of an initiative by the civil society organisations of the four countries to explore opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation.
The forum also underscored the need for stimulating and promoting both intra-regional and extra-regional trade and investment.
‘The forum believes that if bottlenecks such as tariff and non-tariff barriers, weak trade facilitation, weak infrastructure and obstacles to cross border movement of goods are addressed, intra-regional trade will increase and will strengthen global integration of the region,’ it stated.
It also called upon the governments of the BCIM countries to reduce trade barriers and border formalities, eliminate non-trade barriers and develop the needed infrastructure to reduce cost of doing business of enterprises operating in the region.
At the closing session of the BCIM Forum, information minister Hasanul Haq Inu proposed organising a summit to be participated by the heads of the states for ensuring effective and fruitful cooperation to build a better future of the BCIM countries.
In the statement, the BCIM observed that greater market access, particularly to the low income countries could stimulate trade flows and suggested to make a regional trading arrangement with enhanced preferential market access and trade related investment measures.
The statement urged the BCIM Business Council to promote closer collaboration among the private sectors to increase intra-regional trade, stimulate investment and explore natural resources through joint ventures.
CPD executive director Musfafizur Rahman, Myanmar ambassador to Dhaka Myo Myint Than, Yunnan Province of China foreign affairs office director general Mme Zhou Hong and Centre for Policy Research, India governing body member Eric Gonsalves spoke, among others, at the closing session.