Volume 22, No.4, October 2001

COOPERATION BETWEEN BANGLADESH AND THE INDIAN BORDERIN STATESIN TRANSPORT, INCLUDING PORT FACILITIES

by Mr. Rahmatullah.

            Dr. M. Rahmatullah, Former Director, Transport Division, UN-ESCAP is currently Programme Director, Transport, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dhaka.

                 A more liberalized regime of trade and transport coupled with advances in international logistics, information technology, electronic documentation, cross-border facilitation measures, streamlined customs procedures, etc., have greatly expanded the scope for international trade in goods and services with consequent increased demand for movement both within and across the national boundaries. This is part of a globalization phenomenon, which requires more integrated and efficient means of transportation to reduce travel time and cost. Bangladesh and the Indian bordering states perhaps face less formidable a challenge then many other sub-regions in the matter of physically integrating their transport infrastructures. This is because such integration, to a substantial extent, would only involve the restoration, improvement and consolidation of old transport links in the context of the present and projected transport demand and technological standards. The benefits from restoration of such transport linkages can be measured both in terms of savings in the form of reduced transport costs as well as in terms of the new economic opportunities that such restoration would open up. The untapped

 

TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF BANGLADESH AND INDIAN BORDERING STATES

by Prabir De, Buddhadeb Ghosh

          Mr. Prabir De is an Economist, Bengal Port Ltd., Kolkata, India. Dr. Buddhadeb Ghosh is a Senior Scientist, Economic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute. Kolkata. India.

          The purpose of this paper is to review the role played by transport infrastructure in regional development. The findings of the paper have implications for future regional policies. First, disparities in both per capita income and infrastructure facilities among Indian bordering states and Bangladesh have been rising over time. Second, the relative positions of the bordering states have continued to remain weirdly unchanged in terms of any definition of development. Third, transport infrastructure, particularly port facility, has larger role to play in determining the future of mutual development of this region. The most strenuous task of the policy makers must be to undertake common transport policy by which to reduce regional inequalities in various physical and social infrastructure facilities rather than simply to target equalization of public investment across regions. Otherwise, the on-going reform process may be badly thwarted by the potential social disharmonies, which have been gathering momentum everywhere.

 

INTERFACING TRADITIONAL AND NON-TRADITIONAL SECURITY IN SOUTH ASIA

by Abdur Rob Khan

       Dr. Abdur Rob Khan is a Research Director at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), Dhaka.

          The end of Cold War has witnessed rather a step back to history. While the traditional security issues are very much on the agenda, non-traditional and never sources of insecurity have emerged and they seemed to be intimately linked to the traditional issues. In many ways, the linkages are provided by the continued validity of the dictums of realpolitik. The objective of the paper is to develop an interface between traditional and non-traditional security concerns in the context of South Asia. While the domain of traditional security concerns is well-defined and zealously guarded, no consensus is found as to what non-traditional security is, what includes and what it excludes and where to draw the line. An attempt is made to conceptualize non-traditional security. Finally, some policy propositions with regard to enhancing national and regional capacity to deal with both traditional and non-traditional security concerns in South Asia will be made. It is hope that the agenda will have wider relevance to other developing regions.

 

CHINA AND THE BALANCE OF POWER IN ASIA

by Nahida Rahman Shumona

         Ms. Nahida Rahman Shumona  joined Bangladesh Foreign Service in 1998 and is an Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

        The classical theory of realism and the neo-classical theory of structural adjustment are not adequate to understand and explain the emerging multiplier balance of power. Globalizations of economy, technology and diffusion of power have made economic and other soft sources of power more important. Nation states are closer than ever. Rational efforts and social aspects of international system i.e., international law, mediation and balancing of interests tend to emerge as key factors in the balance of power politics. Consequently, the ‘power equilibrium’ could better be understood and explained by the neo-Grotian approach of balance of power. It has been argued that despite having a booming economy and increasing military strength, China will not emerge as hegemony. China will be a key player and the interconnecting core of the emerging multiplier balance of power in Asia. Asian power equilibrium tends to be based on parity of capabilities of the leading states without the intention of dominating each other.