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Should Thailand Mediate to Bolster Myanmar-Bangladesh Ties?

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Should Thailand Mediate to Bolster Myanmar-Bangladesh Ties?

Bangladesh is South East Asian country geographically but South Asian culturally. Myanmar-Bangladesh are neighboring country. On the other hands, Thailand and Myanmar are neighboring country. There is a close historical geographical proximity among Myanmar, Thailand and Bangladesh. Trilateral relations amongst these countries were good. The three states could benefit hugely from Myanmar-Bangladesh Ties.

But a little problem between Bangladesh-Myanmar has become an obstacle. Seven and a half lakh Rohingya Muslims have come to Bangladesh to take shelter to save their lives from the atrocities of the Myanmar army in 2017. Bangladesh is trying to repatriate them to Myanmar. But Myanmar don’t take back them.

Then four years have passed. After that the initiative was taken to return the Rohingyas but it did not happen. The initial initiative failed. This Rohingya refugee problem has created a large distance between Bangladesh and Myanmar. Asa result, distance between South Asia and South east Asia has increased. But if this problem is solved diplomatically whole South Easy Asian countries including Thailand and South Asian countries would benefit economically, socially and culturally.

Greater regional interest

Bangladesh wants Thailand’s cooperation in Rohingya extradition. Bangladesh wants to speed up the plan after the process was suspended due to corona virus infection. As a neighboring and friendly country of Myanmar, Thailand and and should mediate the problem for ensuring the grater interest of the region. If the problem is solved, then greater regional interest would ensure.

Thailand would be able to connect itself by road with the BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar) corridor. The BCIM corridor will be connected with the east-west corridor and the north-south corridor of Thailand. This will establish direct communication between Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand. Again, using this medium, Bangladesh will be able to go directly to Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam. On the other hands, Thailand and Myanmar will be able to enter into South Asia, Central Asia.

Thailand wants to establish trade relations with Bangladesh. Connecting Thailand with the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor or the BCIM Economic Road Corridor will increase trade between the two countries. Myanmar-Bangladesh good relations is very needed for ensuring this.

Bangladesh-Myanmar strained relations

Thailand can invest in Bangladesh’s infrastructure, energy, power and other sectors for ensuring its business interest. The establishment of a deep-sea port is very important for importing goods from Bangladesh. Thailand can invest in this sector.

If Bangladesh-Myanmar strained relations can be solved through diplomatic process, Thailand would benefit. establishing road connectivity Thailand and Bangladesh through Myanmar. Thailand can and should play an effective role to bolster the Myanmar-Bangladesh Ties.

Bangladesh is now moving fast. Now is the right time to invest in this country. Because Bangladesh has now increased its importance towards infrastructural development. Taking advantage of this opportunity, investment in this country will be very profitable.

There are many more investment sectors in Bangladesh, including agriculture, leather, ceramics and textiles. He also said that the tariff rate and tariff system is much easier than other countries. Bangladesh’s imports and exports with Thailand are continuously increasing. There is a possibility of further increase next year.

An excellent investment environment is prevailing in Bangladesh now. Thai investors will benefit if they invest in the health sector in Bangladesh. Thailand can play a role to build a high-quality hospital in Bangladesh through a joint venture. This will benefit both countries. If the Thai medical sector investors visit Bangladesh, it will be easier to make investment decisions.

Bangladeshi products in Thailand.

Bangladesh is exporting leather and leather products, medicines, marine fish and other animal products, paper and paper pulp, soap, plastic products and rubber. There is a lot of demand for many more Bangladeshi products in Thailand. It is possible to increase exports to Thailand if export trade facilities are available. Thailand and Bangladesh are members of the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, which will benefit both countries in terms of trade and investment.

There are negative consequences such as trafficking in women, child abuse and drug related problems. Thailand can be affected for this problem.

Before Bangladesh became independent, its name was East Pakistan. Bangladesh gained independence from East Pakistan. This Bangladesh was also officially recognized by Thailand. They established diplomatic relations with Bangladesh in 1972.

Bangladeshi immigrants in Thailand

Bangladesh and Thailand are closer than people think. Because, these two countries share the same historical basis in terms of religion and language. Bangladesh has historical evidence of Buddhist civilization in many places in Bangladesh. Sanskrit is related to the Thai and Bengali alphabets. So, it has an old relationship.

According to Bangladeshi media outlets, Air travel has also further enriched our people-to-people contacts. At least one lakh Bangladeshis go to Thailand every year. On the other hand, only 5,000 Thais came to visit Bangladesh. There are at least 2,000 Bangladeshi immigrants in Thailand.

Thailand is a neighboring country of Myanmar. The Kingdom has good relations with Myanmar and can access into the South Asian countries, Central Asian countries easily through Myanmar-Bangladesh. Myanmar-Bangladesh is a gateway of SAARC and ASEAN in the region. Thailand can easily utilize this opportunity. China and India are now investing in Myanmar.

The Thai Government can connect itself with the projects. For this, Thailand has to do a great task. Myanmar has strained relations with Bangladesh for Rohingya refugee crisis. Thailand can play a very strategic role in this regard.

The government can mediate to bolster the strained relations between Myanmar and Bangladesh for its own interest. Because Thailand also has a very good relations with both Myanmar and Bangladesh. Thailand will be able to benefit by such a way. A huge market will increase for Thailand. Ultimately Thailand would benefit.

Why Thailand should mediate to bolster Myanmar-Bangladesh strained ties?

  1. For greater regional connectivity such as implementation of BCIM, Asian High way project.
  2. To create opportunity for Thai investors to access into the South Asian markets easily.
  3. Rohingya refugee’s crisis and internal crisis in Myanmar can be a regional crisis. Thailand can be sufferer. Terrorism, insurgent movement, illegal narcotics trade, human trafficking are some concerned issues.
  4. To strengthen trilateral ties amongst Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh for the interest of the people.

So, Thailand can and also should mediate to bolster the Myanmar-Bangladesh strained ties.

By Pathik Hasan

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