Deepening India–Bangladesh Economic Cooperation: Challenges and Opportunities

Prabir De, Biswa N. Bhattacharyay
JEL codes: 
RIS-DP # 130

In recent years, South Asia has received growing attention as a region that is integrating successfully into the global economy. To maximize the benefits in terms of faster growth and poverty reduction, the region will need to strengthen regional and bilateral cooperation in several areas. In this context, closer bilateral cooperation and integration between major South Asian countries, such as between India and Bangladesh, will strengthen the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and help ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of their activities. Cultural, trade, and economic exchanges between the two countries are long standing. Rapid domestic economic development and mutual cooperation have demonstrated broad prospects for further cooperation between the two countries. A remarkable growth in two-way trade between India and Bangladesh has resulted in robust growth of the economies in the region. Compared with their strength, much potential exists for developing trade and economic relations between the two countries. This paper discusses various opportunities and associated prospects and problems in strengthening the IndiaBangladesh economic cooperation and integration agenda in the context of SAARC.