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Economic viability key to success of subregional groups: India

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) India today stressed the need to examine the desirability of proliferation of sub-regional groups without establishing their economic viability as several overlapping sub-regional groups already existed providing established platforms for exploring mutually-beneficial cooperation.

''Given that we already have between us a number of overlapping regional and sub-regional groups that provide established platforms for exploring mutually beneficial cooperation, we need to examine deeply, critically and clearly whether a proliferation of sub-regional groups is desirable without establishing their economic utility or viability,'' a senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said.

Speaking at the Sixth Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Forum here, Secretary (East) Rajiv Sikri said that all the four countries were already interacting with one another through a wide array of many bodies promoting regional and sub-regional cooperation.

Sub-regional exchanges among the four countries could help realise the latent potential that exists between them for meaningful cooperation based on mutual complementarities and equal partnership.

''But the impressive web of our regional and sub-regional interaction with one other does bring out that the conceptual framework offered by the BCIM initiative is already subsumed within the existing collaborative architecture in our region,'' he added.

Reaffirming India's commitment to the 'Look East Policy', he said India had excellent political relations with Bangladesh, China and Myanmar and it was not just that the four countries are neighbours sharing common borders, but also similar opportunities and challenges in the quest for rapid economic growth, national development and prosperity of our people.

''In our mutual relationships, there is increasingly greater focus on economic issues, which will enable us to realise the untapped potential of our economic cooperation and make it commensurate with the level of our political relationships,'' he added.

UNI RB VD HS1843

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