The Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) corridor is an ambitious undertaking that hopes to connect Kolkata with Kunming, capital of the Yunnan province. However, this project is facing many traditional and non-traditional threats to become a reality. Critically analyse these threats. (200 Words)

Facts about BCIM economic corridor
  1. Sub regional economic cooperation
  2. Multi modal connectivity , expressway
  3. Reduce non- tariff barriers
  4. Boost trade and investment
  5. increase people to people exchanges
  6. capitalize on comparative advantages and competitive advantages
  7. Reduce trade deficits
Challenges to BCIM
  1. A lot of insecurity surrounds the project due to a lot of sub regional hostility between participating countries on many grounds. Opening up an economic corridor has much potential for misuse in promoting anti- national activity.
  2. Corridor goes through areas prone to natural disasters so that’s another traditional threat.
  3. Border Dispute: BCIM corridor will improve the leverage of china and hence border dispute resolution on fair terms will be more difficult. Also, some part of the corridor will be passing through AP, which is a disputed territory as per china
  4. India’s apprehensions – The concerns that opening of the north east would flood Indian markets with Chinese goods thus NE will may not be able to develop its own capabilities.
  5. Connectivity Issues: 200 km stretch from Silchar in Assam to Manipur, and a similar length between kalewah and Monywah in Myanmar are still to be constructed.
  6. India’s North East is infested with a lot of insurgency and cross border terrorism, making the region highly instable and investment averse, due to the risk. Such instability would continue to impede any formidable investment coming as a result of BCIM.
  7. The corridor can also be misused for already existing clandestine actives like drug smuggling, smuggling of antiques and trafficking.
  8. Instability in Myanmar: Fighting between Myanmar’s army and kokang rebels as well as narcotics trafficking in North Eastern Myanmar is big security challenge.
  9. Communal Violence- involving Bhuddhist and Rohingyas in Rakine state of Myanmar, as well as anti-Bangladeshi sentiments in India are impediment to cultural security
Without building sufficient trust and an all-weather friendship between the participating countries, the risk is too high for investment of such massive scales. There is no doubt about the project being extremely beneficial in terms of potential, but issues like democratic deficit , disturbance at borders , anti-national activity etc. will have to be addressed jointly. We can only hope that the economic significance of this project will tide over the politics of the regions.



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