Transport Cooperation in BIMST-EC: Issues and Way Forward

Abstract: The growth of regional trading blocs has been one of the major developments in international relations in recent years; all countries are now members of at least one bloc and many belong to more than one. The major contributing factor to rising regional integration across many parts of the world has been improved integrated transport systems which has facilitated nesting of regional and/or sub-regional markets. This paper finds that the scale of intra-regional infrastructure disparity in BIMST-EC is quite significant resulting in wider scope for stronger economic interdependence in the region. The paper concludes that although at present there is limited interdependence among BIMST-EC members in terms of intra-regional trade, a stronger and desirable intra-regional trade is contingent upon improved transport network among BIMST-EC countries. This is not a difficult task as these countries not only belong to the same geographical rim but also they have a strong historical and cultural bond.