The Second Meeting of the Joint Study Group of the emerging regional cooperation framework – Bangladesh – China – India – Myanmar Economic Cooperation (BCIM EC) – is convening in the southern coastal city of Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh on 17 and 18 December 2014. The two-day Meeting, orgnised by the Government of Bangladesh, will be chaired by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary.
The Meeting will be considering the (national) Studies to be presented by each of the four countries outlining perspectives and expectations of each country on the objectives, scope and modalities of cooperation as also cooperation in a number of agreed sectors: trade in goods and services, investment and financing, trade facilitations, energy, multimodal connectivity, sustainable development, human resource development, poverty alleviation, people to people connectivity. The Meeting would also discuss various aspects of institutional structure of BCIM EC.
The BCIM process took off in 1998 at track II level. In 2013, the high political leadership of the four countries agreed to elevate the BCIM process to inter-governmental level. Subsequently, the senior officials of the four countries met in Kunming last December at the 1st Meeting of the Joint Study Group of BCIM EC, where among others, they agreed to undertake a detailed study to decide on structure and modalities of cooperation of the Economic Corridor.
While the Economic Corridor is generally known to connect the points of Kolkata to Kunming, its cooperation framework envisions to connect some of the ports and key nodes, cities and growth centres of the four countries through improving and developing key economic infrastructure and facilitate greater movement of people, culture , goods, service, investment, finance. In the process, the Economic Corridor is expected to unlock parts of the four countries towards reaping greater economic synergies, complementarities and upscale manifold economic opportunities as various investment projects and initiatives roll out.