Bangladesh is an import dependent country. According to PP (purchasing power) Bangladesh is the 41st economy in the world. Bangladesh imports the most goods from China and India with USD 10 billion and USD 8 billion respectively. Bangladesh’s import in the financial year 2021-22 is 76 billion US dollars.
After the independence of Bangladesh, trade relations with many countries of the world have increased, but there has been a very small increase with Myanmar. We will discuss why this commercial relationship has not intensified.
# Since 1962 the military junta government has axed its power and it has not been possible due to their indifference.
#Bangladesh could not advance trade relations due to various sanctions of Western countries and the United Nations.
In the absence of a permanent solution to the #Rohingya problem, psychological and diplomatic ties with Myanmar have hit bottom at times.
# Due to the border dispute and conflict over the waters of the Bay of Bengal, commercial relations did not develop.
# Due to the impact of geopolitics and conflict between the superpowers, it was not possible to move forward. It has not been possible due to various reasons including the absence of a democratic government in
#Myanmar , the unilateral interests of the military junta, conflicts between different ethnic groups, the absence of a powerful corporate class and civil society.
Ways to improve relationships;
A high-level delegation should be sent to the military junta through China and a permanent commercial desk should be set up. Apart from this, the relationship should be promoted by utilizing various regional superpowers including the neighboring country India.
A permanent solution to the
#Rohingya problem must be found. And for this we need national consensus.
# We need to increase cultural exchange with Myanmar, increase our country’s university communication with their various universities and strengthen relations with various stakeholders in their country.
Myanmar has abundant oil and gas reserves which Bangladesh has ample opportunity to import.
It is possible to increase the amount of revenue of both governments by increasing the number of ports on the border of the two countries and removing other obstacles.
Agricultural machinery and cheap and readily available garments made in Bangladesh have the opportunity to enter the Myanmar market. The import-export of goods can be facilitated by connecting the Asian highway through Myanmar to distant Thailand.
It is possible to ensure maximum use of tourist areas of both countries. It is possible to increase tourism attraction in the historical areas of Myanmar and Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar areas of Bangladesh. Besides, to meet the demand of agricultural products of Bangladesh, Myanmar’s fallow land can be leased for long term.
In today’s global reality, relations are strengthened on the basis of commercial relations. No country wants to overemphasize another country’s crisis unless it has massive commercial interests. There are many countries in the world with which there are no political relations but economic relations are ongoing to keep the national interests of both countries intact.
Again, there are many countries in the world with which there was a bitter relationship in the past, but now the relationship with the countries is close due to economic reality. Therefore, observers believe that Bangladesh can open new doors to solve the Rohingya problem by increasing trade relations with Myanmar.
Author: Md Al Mamun, teacher & writer