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Blur the Boundaries


In such situations sub-regional cooperation an effective means of mitigating the ... at the Lhasa conference on cooperation between Tibet and neighbour countries 2005 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Blur the Boundaries

  • Blur the Boundaries For a New Hub
  • of Asian Sub-Regionalism
  • By
  • KPV Nair

Churning the ocean - Angkor carving
  • First mythical joint venture between Devas and
    Asuras , a case
  • of rivals uniting for a common gain Amrita
    (Elixir) for universal hegemony

The crises Blessings in disguise?
  • Calamities come together, but some of them as
    blessings in disguise
  • India realizes its infrastructural inadequacies,
    surge in road building rise in peoples income
    level and quality of life
  • As far-sighted as ever, China finds new avenues
    of cheap acquisitions in energy, minerals and
    chemicals from every known source around the
  • Constructive capitalist culture millions wont
    have to starve for multiplying the number of
    billionaires. World opinion favours more
    inclusive growth
  • Awareness of the three major threats of volatile
    energy prices, food scarcity and climate change

Re-defining Multilateralism
  • Congrats Cambodia! Its laudable initiative
    announced on March 11. Passport holders from
    Vietnam, Laos and Thailand allowed to travel
    within the country for a month. Will strengthen
    trade, tourism and solidarity, while still
    remaining within the ASEAN and GMS groupings with
    a lot of achievements to their own credit.
  • Mekong countries multiple level success in
    stark contrast with the failure of SAARC. The
    role of India and Pakistan.
  • Multilateralism defies definitions. Small and
    less developed countries more aware of the need
    for additional / alternative mechanisms .

Asias Political and Economic outlook
  • Asias political and economic outlook there are
    enough reasons to be positive in general.
    Definite answers difficult when Terrorism as
    uninvited Foreign Direct Investment targeting
    potentially progressive countries.
  • Forecast for India With annual exports and
    imports lower by 20- 25 until February this
    year, real estate tending to find buyers at
    prices just 30 lower, lowering commodity prices
    and idle liquidity still awaiting opportunities,
    GDP variations not to seriously affect the
    balancing of economic fundamentals. India may
    face stagnation for a time, not recession nor
  • Links between politics and economics? Plenty
    in Asia, including India and China. Remember
    Bank of Chinas I P O about 5 years back ? Even
    with nearly 35 N.P.A the offer was subscribed
    by over 200 percent at the closing in Hong Kong.

Political and Economic outlook (contd..)
  • Observers wondered, by highlighting such
    economic success, did Chinese leaders want to
    convince the common man that their administrative
    system was the ideal one for the country ?
    Chinas political strength always favourably
    impacts its economic and geo-political agenda.
    Offer of 18 billion to Thailand in the 97 crisis
    showed its leadership qualities.
  • One reason for Indias temporary well being may
    be the large amount of cash that will be
    circulating during the coming general elections.
    Indias insurgency is both political and
    economic in origin.
  • Recent price rise of Tea partly due to politics
    in India. Huge pay rise for govt. employees is
    economic by nature but arguably political in

Lessons to learn and the way ahead
  • There are many lessons to learn from the current
    crises. Are the various stimuli by the US, China
    and others anything more than a first aid
    treatment? The depth of the crises varies from
    country to country.
  • The existing regional cooperative mechanisms
    provide some sense of security even to the weaker
    constituents. But it is essential for them to
    look for alternative economic alignments even
    while remaining within the larger groupings like
    SAARC and ASEAN.
  • Peripheral areas of most countries are deprived
    of the prosperity seen around the Centre. Example
    Indias North East and Chinas South West
    whose per capita is only about 50 of the
    national average. In such situations
    sub-regional cooperation an effective means of
    mitigating the miseries of the crises.

Need for a new Asian SubRegional grouping
  • For the purpose of todays debate, I have chosen
    a tans-national sub-region where I have been
    personally engaged for at least ten years.
  • It covers an area, unfamiliar to many, literally
    covering the Roof of the World, comprising at
    least five countries or parts thereof, namely
    Nepal, Bhutan, parts of Myanmar, China and India
    and possibly Bangladesh.

Special features of the proposed Sub-Region
  • Abode of Gods and Goddesses of Hindu and Buddhist
    pantheon, Ethnic migrations. Religious tolerance
  • Origin of all the major Asian rivers with several
    lakes and mountains. Even tea originated here,
    ecologically unique.
  • Tangible and intangible heritage, Part of
    Southern Silk Route, Tea Horse civilization
  • Centrally located, Geographically contiguous and
    culturally convergent. India China interface
  • Stunningly beautiful with endless attractions,
    most diverse in bio-resources - all inviting to
    be extensively exploited
  • Could herald the much awaited Asian century.

BCIM cooperation (Kunming Initiative)
  • Aimed at sub-regional cooperation among
    Bangladesh, China,
  • India and Myanmar. Despite good intentions
    the project not yet institutionalized and still
    function on track two level. The obstacles
  • are many both economic and geopolitical.

International participants at the Lhasa
conference on cooperation between Tibet and
neighbour countries 2005

The two day conference was organized by UNDP and
Border Trade between India and China at
  • This strategic Tibet-Sikkim
    border pass, 14,000 ft above
  • sea level, was opened for
    restricted official trade in 2006.

Picture shows flourishing Border Trade between
Ruli in Chinas Yunnan and Myanmars Muse
  • With annual turnover of 830 million
    many goods sold to
  • Myanmar find their way to Northeast
    India and beyond.

Indian and Chinese participants at the K2K
conference at Dali Yunnan
  • The MOU signed upgraded the conference to
    Forum level .
  • Joint feasibility studies are now been

West Bengal Tourism Department Corpn. at Kunming
Trade Fair in 2004
  • Asia Centre facilitated this first
    ever participation with the co-operation of
    CCPIT. Visitors included many from minority

China Eastern Airways introduces direct flight
between Kunming and Kolkata Nov.2007
  • Inauguration of the flight coincided with the
    International Travel Mart

Signing of MOU between Indian Chamber of
Commerce and Yunnan Chamber of Commerce in
  • The delegates from Yunnan also
    participated in
  • Guwahati Trade Fair of
    Northeastern India.

The World War II Stillwell road the original (
left ) and the reconstructed
  • China is eager to reopen the historical
    road which stretches from Ledo in Assam to
    Kunming through Myanmar for opening trade and
    tourism route to Eastern India and Bangladesh.
    The project is yet to take off due to Sino -
    Indian differences. Enormous potential as an
    economic corridor making Asian triangle.

Thank You