VERDICT ON BANGLADESH-INDIA-MYANMAR MARITIME DISPUTE: IMPACT ON FUTURE MARITIME OPERATIONS IN THE REGION
Keywords:BANGLADESH-INDIA-MYANMAR, MARITIME DISPUTE
Bangladesh-India and Bangladesh-Myanmar Maritime verdict have paved the way for exploration and exploitation of maritime resources in the Bay of Bengal. Myanmar has made phenomenal economic and political exploitation of offshore resources in collaboration with regional and extra regional actors. India is doing the same. Similar opportunities are also created for Bangladesh. Political leadership is trying to promote Blue Economy by exploiting maritime sector as new source of wealth, energy and food. Analysis shows that, directly and indirectly, verdicts have offered huge economic and geopolitical opportunities for Bangladesh. Interests of state actors are mostly complementing. SWOT analysis shows that Bangladesh needs to adopt cooperative and collective approach on hydrocarbon exploration, transit, maritime trade and connectivity issues. Non-traditional threats like trade security, human and drug trafficking need to be addressed with regional actors. Issues like poaching, pollution control, marine research, anti-smuggling and Search and Rescue need to be achieved through maritime agencies capacity building. Economic issues like production of various types of food, medicine, chemical, energy and bio-technology from the sea need to be achieved through a comprehensive plan. In this connection, the paper has proposed Perspective Plan for Maritime Bangladesh. The paper recommends that Bangladesh should declare maritime sector as ‘Thrust Sector’ and should form Separate Division to facilitate and expedite maritime operations. To harmonise operations, maritime activities should be coordinated under common umbrella through Regional Maritime Coordination Cell. Maritime agencies capacity building and Maritime Domain Awareness campaign should also be continued to remain at par with the age. Overall, the paper portray inference on maritime environment and actors interests in the BoB for policy makers, maritime clusters, professionals and comprehensive understanding on maritime affairs for further studies.
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