The director of C-SAS, Sudeep Chakravarti was invited to deliver the Opening Keynote at the 'Rethinking Economics Festival' hosted by Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan, on 26th October 2023. His talk was titled 'Great Game to Great Goal: On Fast-tracking Trade and Connectivity in Eastern South Asia.'
The talk was premised on the increasing talk of enhancing bilateral, trilateral and regional trade between Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India. It is now time to revisit some old and eminently workable regional frameworks and approaches that were jettisoned on account of South Asian politics. These need to be married to new ideas and proposals whose time has come. These include a range of initiatives in power, connectivity, trade, transshipment, investment, standardization, non-hard currency payments, and liberalized visa regimes.
The Great Game and presumptuous attitudes that have for long hobbled South Asia needs to now be transformed to a Great Goal. The talk discussed the prospects and problems of this journey for a shared prosperity and security.