South Asia is fighting poverty and multinational challenges. There are ongoing territorial disputes and ideological differences in the region. These have played a role in regional insecurity. This minimally integrated region retains economic connectivity and regional connectivity through seaports and economic corridors. On the other hand, the political environment is defined here in the context of conflicting politics. Comparing South Asia with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or Greater East Asia, the latter have made progress in maintaining a peaceful regional environment.
ASEAN has emerged as an organization. Because, the regional countries associated with it have focused on economic development.
Although the dispute over the South China Sea continues, the countries involved have moved forward through economic integration and the establishment of political relations. If the dispute is not resolved as a result of economic relations and interdependence, it will continue.
With the CPEC, South Asia is moving towards economic integration and regional integration. The relevance of this region predicts the trend that the world is heading towards. Corridor activities are expected to give rise to new political players in the region. China’s growing role in South Asia, from seaports to corridors, will make it an “active player” in the region. In this context, the regional perspective should be economic development. Seaports and connectivity should be seen as a political achievement. Regional countries should not be part of the US-China competition and part of building Indo-Pacific relations. Therefore, for regional integration and progress, SAARC countries should abandon political differences and go hand in hand.
Pakistan’s economy has collapsed. The economic situation there depends on internal and external factors. The foreign issue is the situation in Afghanistan and the fight against US-led terrorism. These events have damaged Pakistan’s security. Due to that war, foreign direct investment in Pakistan has declined. And internally the corruption of the periodic political ruling class has severely damaged the country’s industry. Despite these shortcomings, Pakistan has fought against militancy and on the regional front. The present government is focused on economic development. Pakistan has undertaken geopolitical activities at the regional level.
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Other countries in the region, such as Bangladesh, have given China the opportunity to use the Bay of Bengal. Through this, support for inter-regional integration has been expressed. Bangladesh’s economic growth is now commendable. Shijin Chan, former vice president of the Asian Development Bank, said Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Here the poverty rate has been reduced by 24.6 percent.
Bangladesh and Pakistan could be the leading players in regional integration in the context of emerging regional corridors. Bangladesh is a part of BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar). On the other hand, Pakistan is leading in CPEC. The port of Guevara is located at the present crossroads of South, Central and West Asia. And Chittagong port is the route of Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh has given China a chance to enter the Bay of Bengal. As Bangladesh is increasingly leaning towards China in the context of regionalism, it is clear that Bangladesh has the support of China to build seaports in South Asia. This further indicates that Bangladesh seems to be benefiting from regional progress through the integration of the corridor. In this context, Pakistan and Bangladesh have strategic similarities in terms of regional integration. Both countries can join their regional integration and enjoy the benefits of economic corridors.
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