• Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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South Asia

US in South Asia: Declining influence

THE US' influence in South Asia is fast diminishing and this trend is likely to continue deep into the future. In the aftermath of World War II, South Asia was considered a strategic backwater by the US policymakers. Additionally, South Asia offered little economic opportunities to the US corporate sector. With the solitary exception of turning Pakistan into an alliance partner, the US cared little about this region. Even in the realm of alliance politics, the US had little to...

Regional cooperation in South Asia: Myths and realities

INDIA'S new Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic initiative to invite leaders of Saarc countries to his swearing-in ceremony, his plan to build a multi-storied headquarter for Saarc in New Delhi, inclusion of both USA and China into Saarc to improve its functioning are the issues of recent discussion within and outside South Asian countries. These initiatives make us perceive that South Asian regionalism is functioning effectively. In this scenario let us go in-depth to fathom South Asia's regional cooperation...

Indian media back strong ties with Bangladesh

Indian media back strong ties with Bangladesh

Media in India feel Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Bangladesh is a continuation of the new government's policy of integrating South Asia. In her first solo foreign visit after taking oath, Swaraj will hold talks with Bangladeshi leaders on key issues including a land boundary agreement and a proposed pact on sharing water...

Excuse me…Southasia?

THE sight of Narendra Modi reviewing Vikramaditya battleship, his declaration of Bharat playing the role of neither an aggressor nor a victim, and the visual of the stormy seas said one thing …India is enjoying sending strong messages to the world. Just back from Japan and China, our prime minister has also sent clear messages of aligning within Asia. Countries in Asia will soon be defining the global atmosphere and countries in South Asia might as well be investing...

China's growing economic power in South Asia: A closer look

CHINA shares borders with five South Asian countries ranging from the major powers in South Asia, viz., India and Pakistan to others, viz., Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan. Given this geographical reality, China's ability to exert its influence in the region was readily seen, and since the late 1990s Chinese economic ties in terms of trade, investment, and financial assistance in the South Asian region has been growing.   Over the one-and-a-half decades from 2000 to 2014, China has become the...

Modi govt to pursue 'economically interlinked' South Asia

Modi govt to pursue 'economically interlinked' South Asia

The Narendra Modi-led new Indian government will "urgently pursue" an economic reform agenda to revive a flagging economy and work with neighbouring countries to build a peaceful and economically interlinked neighbourhood for collective prosperity of South Asia, President Pranab Mukherjee said today. Addressing the customary annual joint session of the two House of parliament,...

CPD opposes plans for corporate tax cuts

CPD opposes plans for corporate tax cuts

The Centre for Policy Dialogue has expressed strong reservations about the government's plan to lower corporate tax to boost private investment, saying the move would not have an adequate positive impact. “The demand of the business community for lowering the corporate tax rates calls for close examination and a detailed analysis,” Fahmida Khatun, research...

Remittances to rebound

Inward remittances to Bangladesh may see “some rebound” in the coming years, bucking the slowing trend, as the inflow into South Asia is forecast to grow 22.5 percent to $136 billion in 2016 from last year, the World Bank said in a new report. Migrants from developing countries are expected to send $436 billion in remittances to their home countries this year -- an increase of 7.8 percent over the 2013 volume -- despite more deportations from some host countries,...

India's $1b loan offer

India yesterday offered $1 billion loans, which Bangladesh can use if it wishes to, for developing infrastructure and solar power and boosting trade with the neighbour. India is also ready to export 500MW of electricity to Bangladesh. The twin offers are in addition to the $1 billion line of credit and 500MW electricity that Bangladesh is already receiving from India as part of previous pledges, said Arvind Mehta, joint secretary of foreign trade (South Asia) of India's commerce department. Mehta spoke to...

GROUND REALITIES

Faces of extremism in South Asia

BARELY a fortnight ago, a fringe group of Hindu fanatics forced the clamping of a ban on Wendy Doniger's extremely insightful work, The Hindus, in India. Not long ago, the now deceased leader of the Shiv Sena, Bal Thackeray, openly suggested that Muslims in India be thrown into the sea. In the early 1990s, Muslim fanatics in Bangladesh forced the outspoken writer Taslima Nasrin out of the country for what they called her blasphemous views on Islam. Since she was...

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