Thinking Aloud: Volume III, Issue 5: October 1, 2016
October, 2016 issue of Thinking Aloud focuses on ‘Challenges in Regional Integration in South Asia’. The first article “Sub-regional cooperation can be the answer to the deadlock of regional integration in South Asia” concentrates on the need and the challenges for stronger integration process in the sub-regional integration among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN). The article emphasizes on trade facilitation, streamlining NTMs, the removal of procedural obstacles, and investing on exporters’ capabilities to help boost the intra-regional trade and investment among these countries. The second article titled “Tapping on the trade-investment nexus for improving bilateral economic cooperation between Bangladesh and India” analyzes the current pattern of bilateral trade between these two countries and emphasizes on large FDI from India into Bangladesh for enhancing bilateral cooperation. The article highlights the recent initiatives by the governments of the two countries in building stronger relations to enhance bilateral trade by focusing on better infrastructure, liberalizing trade and taking initiatives for boosting FDI. There is no denying that accelerating bilateral trade and investment between the two countries will create extensive growth opportunities that will in turn reduce inequality and poverty in these two countries. In this issue SANEM interviews Dr. Prabir De, Professor, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, India, on the issues of SAARC and regional integration. Dr. De focuses on the need for political stability and integrated systems to achieve potential outcomes. He also talks about the challenges in the region and how the countries can overcome those challenges to benefit from regional integration. Finally, the fourth page provides a brief of all the events that took place in the month of September.