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Do you think that BIMSTEC is a parallel organisation like the SAARC ? What are the similarities and dissimilarities between the two ? How are Indian foreign policy objectives realized by forming this new organisation ?

General Studies Paper - 2, Topic - International Organizations

Dec 29, 2022

2 min read

BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is a regional organization that was established in 1997 with the goal of promoting economic and technical cooperation among the countries of the Bay of Bengal region. The member countries of BIMSTEC are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.


BIMSTEC is not a parallel organization to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), but rather a complementary organization that aims to promote regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region. Both BIMSTEC and SAARC are regional organizations that seek to promote economic and technical cooperation among their member countries, but there are some key differences between the two.




Some of the similarities and differences between BIMSTEC and SAARC are:


Membership: Both BIMSTEC and SAARC include India as a member, but BIMSTEC includes additional countries from the Bay of Bengal region, such as Myanmar and Thailand, which are not members of SAARC. SAARC includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka as members.


Focus: Both BIMSTEC and SAARC have a broad focus on economic and technical cooperation, but BIMSTEC has a particular focus on promoting connectivity and development in the Bay of Bengal region. SAARC has a broader focus on regional cooperation in South Asia.


Participation: Both BIMSTEC and SAARC have observer countries that participate in their activities, but the list of observers is different for each organization. BIMSTEC has observer countries such as Australia, China, Japan, and the United States, while SAARC has observer countries such as China, the European Union, Iran, and the United States.


India's foreign policy objectives can be realized by forming BIMSTEC in several ways. For example, BIMSTEC provides a platform for India to engage with its neighbors in the Bay of Bengal region and promote economic and technical cooperation, which can contribute to regional stability and prosperity. BIMSTEC also offers opportunities for India to enhance connectivity with its neighbors through infrastructure development and trade facilitation, which can benefit Indian businesses and facilitate the movement of goods and people in the region.

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