BIISS JOURNAL, VOL. 26, NO. 3, July 2005

A.K.M Abdus Sabur

SINO-SOUTH ASIAN RELATIONS: EVOLVING TRENDS


Abstract

South Asia and China are in the process of a qualitative change in their relations that has generated certain degree of uncertainty and even a greater degree of dynamism in the regional developments. China is displaying a distinct unwillingness to be entangled in interstate conflicts in South Asia. Instead, it is encouraging the regional countries to concentrate their efforts on the reconstruction of their economies and societies, and move away from conflict to a course of cooperation. This has created pressure on South Asian countries to change themselves in two crucial ways. There is pressure to resolve or, at least, manage regional conflicts properly and revitalise the process of mutually beneficial co-operation. Secondly, there is also pressure on them to concentrate their efforts on the reconstruction of their economies so as to make them attractive to the outside world as partners for cooperation.


A. K. M. Abdus Sabur is a Research Director and Head of International Studies Division, BIISS. His e-mail is: sabur@biiss.org. An earlier version of the article was presented at the Seminar on China's Evolving Relations with South Asia organised by BIISS on June 12, 2005 in Dhaka and at a Discussion Meeting organised by the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS), Beijing, China on June 27, 2005. The paper has been revised on the basis of comments received.

© Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), 2005.


Sharif M. Hossain

BANGLADESH AND FREE TRADE AREA: REGIONAL AND BILATERAL ROUTES

Abstract

To achieve the benefits of globalisation, Bangladesh is engaging in bilateral and regional trading arrangements simultaneously. Two regional trading arrangements, SAFTA and BIMSTEC-FTA have already been finalised. At the same time, Bangladesh is considering three bilateral trading arrangements with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively. Now a number of pertinent questions are: What difference will it make for Bangladesh to sign bilateral FTA alongside regional FTA? Can bilateral FTA be a substitute for regional one? Which one will be beneficial for Bangladesh - bilateral trading arrangement, regional trading arrangement or some combination of bilateral or regional trading arrangement? Using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model and data, the paper shows that welfare benefits of regional arrangements could be higher than bilateral arrangements. However, in regional arrangements, sometimes big economies may not offer handsome concession due to distinct interest with an individual country, and they offer large concessions in bilateral arrangements. In this respect a combination of bilateral and regional trading arrangements may be the viable policy options for Bangladesh.


Mr. Sharif M. Hossain is Research Officer at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strtaegic Studies (BIISS), Dhaka. His e-mail: smhossain@biiss.org

© Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), 2005.


Md. Shahidul Haque

INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND HUMAN SECURITY: EXPLORING THE NEXUS

Abstract

Migration has been shaping human civilization since the beginning of time though it is only recently that migration has appeared as a major issue in the development agenda. Migration in all its forms is often intricately linked with other phenomena including the emerging issue of human security. The linkage between the two phenomena is complex and historically rooted. While migration impacts on security both positively and negatively, it is also true that security is a major factor affecting the migration dynamics of the world. This paper attempts to look at this complex relationship exploring how migration is both enhancing human security and also threatening it some times. Migration has also been looked at in the context of terrorism and national security. Finally, the paper concludes highlighting the notion that the complexities of the migration-human security nexus only reconfirms the need to manage migration in a balanced and programmatic approach.


Md. Shahidul Haque is the Regional Representative for South Asia and the Chief of Mission for Iran (a.i.), International Organization for Migration (IOM). His e-mail: shaquatdy@ion.int

© Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), 2005.


Segufta Hossain
Mohammad Ashique Rahman

ASIAN TSUNAMI: ECONOMIC IMPACTS AND THE POLITICS OF HUMANITARIAN AID

Abstract

The article studies the economic impacts of the Asian Tsunami focusing mainly on the macroeconomic impacts, and identifies the ramifications of disaster aid diplomacy and politics involving the relief and rehabilitation efforts by various agents. Despite widespread devastation claiming thousands of lives, infrastructural damage and environmental degradation, the macroeconomic impacts of the calamity were less severe than anticipated. On the other hand, it is argued that, other than the humanitarian assistance, the relief and rehabilitation efforts involved intense disaster assistance diplomacy both at the global and regional levels by the sole superpower and other major world powers to express their strength and superiority. Furthermore, the ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka and the separatist movements in Indonesia complicated the relief and rehabilitation efforts by donors, NGOs and international relief agencies exacerbating the miseries of the affected poor people in the region.


Ms. Segufta Hossain and Mr. Mohammad Ashique Rahman are Research Officers at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS). Their e-mails are: segufta@biiss.org and ashique@biiss.org respectively.