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Comparative Analysis of Bimstec and Saarc

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Words: 1029 |

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6 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Words: 1029|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Problem Statement
  2. Background
  3. SAARC
    BIMSTEC

South Asia being one of the least incorporated areas on the planet, the extent of 'inside South Asia exchange' in the region's worldwide exchange barely fluctuates around the five percent mark (Raihan, 2017). However, South Asia has always moved for greater regional cooperation despite all the cynical scenarios and has even proceeded towards not only reintegration within South Asian countries but also Southeast Asian countries (Raihan, 2017). Now there seem to be an ongoing debate whether BIMSTEC is the new SAARC or not. This consideration of BIMSTEC being an alternative to SAARC after India refused to attend a 2016 SAARC summit in Islamabad right after the Uri attack but calling for a BRICS Forum Outreach Summit in Goa (Anon., 2019). However, newer doesn’t always mean better. Although it seems that SAARC has lost its importance, it is still functioning. Also, although BIMSTEC is functioning rather it’s still too soon to jump to conclusions having high hopes. This paper is going address the issue and conduct a comparative analysis of BIMSTEC and SAARC.

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The concept of regional organization was only Europe-centric after World War II but with back-to-back incidents of the Cold War, the escalation of economic powers in Europe, the collapse of Soviet Union, there was also an upsurge of new self-governing regional spheres in Asia. The main reason behind this was to keep Asia distant from western power's impact and regionalize the security and affluence of Asia in a noteworthy way (Chibber, 2004).

South Asia being one of the least incorporated areas on the planet, the extent of 'inside South Asia exchange' in the region's worldwide exchange barely fluctuates around the five percent mark (Raihan, 2017). However, South Asia has always moved for greater regional cooperation despite all the cynical scenarios and has even proceeded towards not only reintegration within South Asian countries but also Southeast Asian countries (Raihan, 2017). The regional integration and cooperation initiative in South Asia began in 1985 with the development of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SAARC has gone under inspection over the most recent couple of years. That is why, even after 30 years, SAARC's presentation has been not exactly good, and its job in reinforcing regional collaboration is being addressed (Biswal, 2019). Soon the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) which was started in June 1997 created an open window for most of the South Asian nations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) to coordinate with two Southeast Asian nations (Thailand and Myanmar). Be that as it may, even following 20 years of gathering the countries in the Bay of Bengal area which is prominently supported as the reasonable alternative SAARC, the accomplishments under the BIMSTEC have been somewhat insignificant (Bhattacharjee, 2018). As regional organizations, SAARC and BIMSTC both are renowned however both seem to have their drawbacks. Therefore, a comparative analysis will be conducted in this paper in order to determine which of the two will keep standing in a head-to-head battle.

Problem Statement

As regional organizations, SAARC and BIMSTC both are renowned. However, both seem to have their drawbacks. At first, SAARC had shown a beacon light for greater integration in a cold and cantankerous region as South Asia. But soon it has proved to be ineffective to hold up its principles and areas of cooperation. Then came forth BIMSTEC as a better alternative to SAARC. However, it too seems to only have taken decisions for projects while they remain yet to be achieved. So question arises, ‘Is BIMSTEC really a better alternative to SAARC?’ Therefore, a comparative analysis needs to be conducted in order to determine which of the two is actually the better one for regional cooperation in South Asia.

The issue this paper attempts to address is the fact that a debate remains whether either of the two renowned organizations are carrying out their functions properly or not. And an analysis of what each are doing compared to the other. So that it is easier to draw a picture of who is ahead of who and whether SAARC is really done for now leaving BIMSTEC to take off where SAARC ended.

Background

SAARC

SAARC has eight member countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. From a non-Indian and financial viewpoint, there are worries that an evident and noticeable initiative from India is yet to be believed to push the territorial combination motivation ahead in South Asia (Raihan, 2017).

SAARC was first imagined in the late 1970s by Gen. Ziaur Rahman, the President of Bangladesh. At first, India was anxious about SAARC on the grounds that it saw the gathering to be an endeavor by its smaller neighbors to group against it. The Cold War politics of the time, added to India's nervousness as well (education, 2019). Pakistan on the other hand had similar worries (education, 2016). However, the members did go ahead with formalities having suspicion in mind. And eventually, in the long run, so did India. SAARC has 9 areas of cooperation: human resource development and tourism, agriculture and rural development, environment, natural disasters and biotechnology, economic, trade and finance, social affairs, information and poverty alleviation, energy, transport, science and technology, education, security and culture and others (Cooperation, 2011).

The first SAARC meeting occurred in Dhaka in 1985, and there have been 18 summits till date. Be that as it may, the association has not had a smooth run. In the 30 years of its history, yearly SAARC summits have been deferred multiple times for political reasons (Ahmed, 2017).

At the eighteenth SAARC summit in Kathmandu in 2014, for example, the SAARC–Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA), urgent for equipping cross connectivity in South Asia, could be not put into action because of Pakistan's wavering. SAARC confronted another misfortune after the nineteenth summit planned to be held in Pakistan in 2016 was suspended for an inconclusive period, as part nations declined to take an interest, indicating what they said was the nonattendance of a favorable conducive regional environment (Bhattacharjee, 2018).

BIMSTEC

BIMSTEC has seven member countries: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan, comprising the littoral countries of the Himalayan ecology and the Bay of Bengal (Anon., 2019).

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The organization appeared on June 6, 1997, Bangkok.

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Cite this Essay

Comparative Analysis of BIMSTEC and SAARC. (2024, February 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-bimstec-and-saarc/
“Comparative Analysis of BIMSTEC and SAARC.” GradesFixer, 13 Feb. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-bimstec-and-saarc/
Comparative Analysis of BIMSTEC and SAARC. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-bimstec-and-saarc/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
Comparative Analysis of BIMSTEC and SAARC [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 13 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/comparative-analysis-of-bimstec-and-saarc/
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