The Upcoming Dhaka-New Delhi Summit, 2023: Expectations and Future


The bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India epitomize a dynamic interplay of cooperation and friendship. This intricate bond resembles a sturdy bridge that adeptly links the emotions of both nations, nurturing mutual understanding and trust. The upcoming Dhaka-Delhi Summit in 2023 will mark another significant milestone in this partnership, facilitating extensive engagement and paving the way for numerous future opportunities.

Before delving into expectations for the upcoming Dhaka-New Delhi Summit, it’s crucial to grasp the profound importance of this event. The world’s political landscape is undergoing significant changes at present. Recent global events and developments, such as the Ukraine war and the post-pandemic recovery, have deeply impacted the global economy and regional socio-economic stability. Issues like supply chain disruptions and energy shortages have emerged as critical concerns and are expected to remain substantial challenges in the foreseeable future.

Furthermore, there is a growing polarization trend worldwide, reminiscent of the Cold War era, which has become increasingly prevalent in recent times. Additionally, the geostrategic dynamics of China and India’s relationship are undergoing a prolonged period of testing, facing various obstacles.

On the other hand, Bangladesh, strategically located, has adeptly managed the delicate balance between major actors. Therefore, the forthcoming summit with India, a highly esteemed neighboring nation, holds significant relevance. Bangladesh is actively working to maintain a comprehensive and flawless strategic and economic partnership. Moreover, Bangladesh is committed to ensuring equitable interactions among all parties involved in this relationship.

At the same time, during this economically challenging period, Bangladesh can draw valuable lessons from India’s balanced approach, potentially serving as a model. Because India has developed a well-balanced strategy to navigate its current economic challenges, offering insightful lessons for Bangladesh. India’s strategy, characterized by a careful equilibrium across various aspects, provides valuable insights for Bangladesh’s planning. Bangladesh’s approach entails evaluating and implementing essential elements of India’s strategy.

Expectations and Future

The Dhaka-New Delhi Summit holds considerable diplomatic importance, with many anticipated topics of discussion and potential outcomes.

Firstly, the summit provides an opportunity for both Bangladesh and India to engage in high-level diplomacy. Expectations include discussions on strengthening bilateral ties, addressing any outstanding issues, and forging agreements that benefit both nations politically. Both countries aim to enhance their regional influence in South Asia. By collaborating and building a strong bilateral relationship, they can collectively exert greater influence in regional forums and organizations.

Given the changing dynamics of global politics, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, Bangladesh and India may discuss strategies to navigate these shifts. A strong partnership can help them counterbalance geopolitical forces and protect their interests. Expectations may include discussions on aligning their positions on international issues, such as climate change, counterterrorism, and sustainable development. A unified stance can amplify their voices on the global stage.

Secondly, the expansion of bilateral commerce is anticipated as both nations endeavor to enhance their trade partnership, diminish trade impediments, and investigate avenues for reciprocal economic advancement. Also, the focal point of the discourse is likely to be on cooperative initiatives pertaining to infrastructure development, encompassing the enhancement of transport systems and digital connection, with the aim of augmenting economic relations and fostering regional integration.

Besides, prospects for Resolving Water-Sharing Disputes, Particularly in Relation to the Teesta and Ganges (Padma) Rivers, to Facilitate Equitable Resource Management. Moreover, the Ganges water treaty will be out of date in two years, so there will be talk on the upcoming future of the treaty.

Thirdly, the potential for collaboration in the energy sector, encompassing the possibility of cross-border energy initiatives, may be considered to address the escalating energy requirements within the area. Already, Bangladesh and India have effective energy treaty but in the upcoming summit two states can initiate an environment friendly energy transmission.

Fourthly, the topic of border security may prompt discussions between the two nations on methods aimed at improving border security measures and effectively addressing concerns associated with illicit border crossings and smuggling activities. Besides, the promotion of cultural and educational exchanges is anticipated to facilitate the development of mutual understanding and the enhancement of interpersonal connections between individuals.

Moreover, the focal point of counterterrorism endeavors may revolve on the collaboration in counterterrorism and the exchange of intelligence to effectively handle security challenges within the area. Also, both nations have a vested interest in regional security and stability. Expectations may involve commitments to cooperate on security matters, maintain peace along their shared borders, and contribute to regional peacekeeping efforts.

Fifthly, the issue of climate change and its impact on the environment prompts governments to engage in discussions regarding cooperative measures aimed at mitigating its effects and fostering sustainable development.

Sixthly, cultural exchanges, educational partnerships, and people-to-people ties are essential aspects of soft power diplomacy. Expectations include initiatives to promote. The potential inclusion of measures such as streamlining visa processes in order to enhance tourism between Dhaka and New Delhi may be considered as part of tourist promotion efforts.

Bangladesh can address critical issues like the Rohingya refugee crisis through this summit. The Summit provides a platform to raise the challenges and hardships that Bangladesh faces on a global scale. Furthermore, to arrive at a solution for the Rohingya crisis, India and other vital stakeholders play a crucial role. If Bangladesh can garner support from India, it could effectively manage the challenges, potentially leading to a resolution of the Rohingya problem. Given the significance and the looming threat of the Rohingya crisis for both India and Bangladesh, addressing it is of paramount importance.

Finally, the forthcoming summit between Dhaka and Delhi represents a blueprint for regional stability and cooperation. Both parties are prominent economic powerhouses in South Asia, and their economic influence extends to the global stage. The summit and its expectations are intertwined with notions of economic freedom, political harmony, and strategic equilibrium. Therefore, the summit holds immense significance, not only for the progress of these two nations but also for the entire region’s development.

– S. M. Saifee Islam is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA).

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