Thinking Aloud: Volume II, Issue 11: April 1, 2016


April 1, 2016 issue focuses on perspectives on regional integration. The first article on “Political economy of regional integration: Where do we stand in South Asia?” attempts to explore the various factors influencing regional integration in South Asia from a political economy perspective. The article suggests that, there are three interconnected drivers for a deeper regional integration including economic drivers, political economy drivers and extra-regional drivers. In addition to four economic drivers, i.e. market integration, growth integration, investment integration and policy integration, the article emphasizes on five political economy drivers that include primary institution, secondary institution, regional public good, structural factor and political elite. The article argues that there is a vital need for proactive and resilient leadership from political elites in South Asia that can eliminate ‘trust deficits’ as well as can deal with many ‘structural factors’ to facilitate deeper regional integration in the region. The second article on “Why should Bangladesh integrate more with East and Southeast Asia?” sheds light on the fact that it is a high time for Bangladesh to start an expedition of exploring new export products and export destinations. In such expedition, trade and investment integrations with East and Southeast Asian countries are essential for Bangladesh. Since East and Southeast Asian countries have much deeper integration with the Global Value Chains (GVCs) in diversified products, trade and investment integrations with these countries will have large benefits for the Bangladesh economy. The 3rd page consists of an interview with Ambassador Sumith Nakandala, the first Secretary General of BIMSTEC, on the prospects of BIMSTEC in accelerating regional integration involving countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Link: Thinking Aloud: Volume II, Issue 11: April 1, 2016