Volume 24, No.4, October 2003



by Mr. U. Aye Kyaw

        Mr. U. Aye Kyaw is Director, Energy Planning Department, Ministry of Energy, Government of the Union of Myanmar, Yangon. The paper was presented at Dialogue on “Sub-regional Cooperation among the BIMS-EC Countries and the Role of Japan” organized by BIISS in Dhaka on March 11-12, 2002 collaboration with the Asia Center of the Japan Foundation, Tokyo. The article is updated as of the Dialogue date.-Ed.

             The paper presents a brief outline of the BIMST-EC regional cooperation Programme with focus on the Energy Sector Cooperation Programme. It explains the status of Myanmar as the lead country and the Chair of the Programme. The paper further elaborates the steps taken by the lead country in setting up  the committee of Experts/Officials, the drafting of an action plan and the establishment of task forces for the two identified projects. The paper also discusses in a fair amount of detail on the terms of reference for the Sectoral Committee and the task forces. The latter part of the paper discusses the potential of the member countries for cooperation, the  common barriers and constraints faced by member countries, the further development of the energy sector cooperation programme and the role of Japan in future activities and programmes.



by Mr. Janaka Wijayasiri

          Mr. Janaka Wijayasiri is Research Officer, Institute of Policy Studies, Colombo. Paper presented at the Dialogue on ‘Sub-regional Cooperation among the BIMST-EC Countries and the Role of Japan’, organized by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and the Japan Study Center, Dhaka University on March 11-12, 2002, with assistance from the Asia Center of the Japan Foundation, Tokyo. The article is updated as of the date of the Dialogue- Ed.

          The paper assesses the prospects and constraints of cooperation in the field of tourism within the framework of BIMST-EC. The current status of tourism in the world is stated by highlighting the growing importance of tourist industry, identifying the main tourist markets and destinations and purpose of international travel. The state of tourist industry in the BIMST-EC countries is also portrayed. Significant progress has been made in the tourism cooperation process. A Tourism Action Plan of the BIMST-EC has been drawn. The paper also identifies the constraints to cooperation in tourism in the region. Experiences of other regional and sub-regional organizations in their promotion of tourism in their regions are also discussed. The paper concludes with the prospects for cooperation in tourism in the BIMST-EC and the role that Japan can play as a development partner.



by Ms. Rukhsana Ahmed


         Ms. Rukhsana Ahmed is an Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her e-mail: rahmed1972@yahoo.com

          The paper examines how globalization affects the level of democracy in South Asia.  To test this question, conflicting theoretical positions in the literature - globalization enhances democracy; globalization hinders democracy; and globalization does not necessarily affect democracy - are evaluated empirically.  The effect of FDI on political rights is measured in 5 South Asian countries using pooled time-series cross-sectional data for the period 1983 to 1999.  Several statistical methods are conducted to test  the link between FDI and political rights.  Based on the results, the study finds that a positive effect on political rights should be expected from an increase in FDI.  As a result of this finding, the paper concludes that globalization is likely to promote democratic governance in South Asia.



by Ms Jona Razzaque

          Ms Jona Razzaque, ph.D., is a Staff Lawer, Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD), London, UK. Her e-mail:  jona.razzaque@field.org.uk

          This article raises certain legal and policy issues arising from the use of labelling for environmental purposes (eco-labels) in international trade, and the implications for market access, particularly for products from developing countries. Eco-labeling was identified as a significant area in Agenda 21 (1992) and in Doha Declaration (2001). More recently, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (WSSD, 2002) also recognized the importance of consumer information related to sustainable consumption and explicitly noted the need to continue work in this area. Eco-labels may potentially enhance the terms of trade of those developing countries able to accurately translate the mood of industrialized country consumers into environmentally friendly product development. There are also hopes that eco-labeling could provide new opportunities for attracting capital investment and joint ventures in developing countries, such as Bangladesh.


by Altaf Jalil

          Altaf Jalil, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Department of Management Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. His e-mail: shj@dhaka.net

          This paper addresses issues and makes recommendations with regard to certain institutional support mechanisms for  creation of buyer-seller linkages in export management.  In particular, the article looks at trade fairs, trade missions, and overseas commercial representation, as well as the role of catalysts, chambers, and exporters’ associations  in promoting exports.  Based on analysis of theoretical materials and in-depth interviews, a strategic framework  is proposed for improving  the delivery capability of  buyer-seller linkage creation  functions in the Bangladesh context.