3:13 pm - Thursday December 17, 3835

Dhaka can benefit from Indo-Pacific economic corridor: US

Bangladesh can benefit greatly from the establishment of an Indo-Pacific economic corridor if it can overcome the troublesome legacy of its past and come together around a democratic political transition in the coming months, said an US official.

“Bangladesh, where I was earlier this week, stands to benefit greatly from the establishment of an Indo-Pacific economic corridor if it can conquer the divisive legacy of its past and come together around a democratic political transition in the coming months,” said US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal.

Biswal, who had been on a three-day visit here last week, made the remark at her swearing-in ceremony in Washington on November 21, according to the US State Department.

nisha biswalUS Secretary of State John Kerry said in Bangladesh, Nisha showed how she never misses a chance to speak up or stand up for America’s values.

“She spoke forcefully about the need for leaders to rise above partisan differences and find a peaceful way towards the ballot box. All of us know that the countries she’s going to represent are complicated and have been going through enormous challenges,” he said.

America’s prosperity rests more than ever in the strength of their links to this region, Kerry said.

“Nisha’s experience and the success that so many Indian Americans bring to the American table show to everybody in the world the deep ties that we have between the United States and India.

“And I know that we’re going to unlock the enormous potential of stronger economic, security, and cultural ties between our countries,” he added.

Biswal in her speech said South and Central Asia is a region of extraordinary geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity, and it is a region of great natural beauty and vibrant societies, and as the Secretary noted, it is a region in the midst of great transition.

“In fact, there are political transitions in five of the countries of South and Central Asia between this fall and next spring, and many are apprehensive about the elections that lie ahead,” she said.

But, Biswal added, there’s also great opportunity in the region as they seek to support an integrated and interconnected landscape of trade and economic opportunity.

“The rebalance to Asia is fundamentally about the recognition that this continent, including South and Central Asia will play a growing role in global politics, security, and economics in the 21st century, and that the prosperity and security of the United States is vitally linked to the prosperity and security of Asia.”

By some estimates, Asia will make up 50 percent of global GDP in the coming decades – 50 percent of global GDP, she mentioned.

It can realize this extraordinary potential only if the countries of the region address the challenges of inadequate governance, pervasive corruption, countering terrorism and violent extremism, advancing human dignity and human rights, promoting sustainable and inclusive growth, and protecting the environment and mitigating global climate change, Biswal said.

“With the nascent political transition in Myanmar, there is a historic opportunity to connect the countries of South Asia with the countries of Southeast Asia in an integrated economic landscape.

“And we see India, already an economic and global power, making key investments in infrastructure to capacitate that connectivity with the economies of ASEAN,” she added.


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