Saturday, June 15, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Now is the time for Asia to unite

South Asian countries have long been in need of structured regional co-operation

Update : 08 Aug 2022, 01:41 AM

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting worldwide economic crisis brings to light the importance of regional co-operation. Countries individually are suffering greatly from this crisis, but if countries co-operate together, they can figure out ways to bypass the horrendous effects of such a crisis and take care and elevate each other through mutual co-operation.

As such, the prime minister’s call for Asian nations to work together for mutual economic progress is timely, and a call we hope does not go on deaf ears as far as the entire continent is concerned. 

South Asian countries have long been in need of structured regional co-operation. Aside from SAARC and ASEAN -- a coordinated effort that brings all of the region together is hardly present. The recent economic crisis and issues like the Rohingya Refugee crisis has shown the importance of branding and sticking together. 

Different countries in the region specialize in different economic and agricultural output. For example, the RMG sector of Bangladesh is thriving but due to the Russian invasion, and due to Europe being our top export market, the circumstances in regards to our RMG sector will get complicated in the future.

As such, having exclusive trade agreements in place with regional countries would mitigate such a disaster. Asian countries also have similar interests and security concerns when it comes to dealing with Western nations, so an alliance would be helpful in this regard as well. 

The relevant authorities should heed our PM’s call and make it a priority to not just maintain friendly relations with neighboring countries but to reinforce such relations as well. To that end, our own foreign delegates have to be deployed with renewed zeal with this objective in mind. 

With rising volatility and uncertainty prevailing the global economy, we need to hold hands with nations that are closest to us.

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