The Daily Star (January 30, 2008
Dhaka must take proactive strategy in changing global scenario Experts tell meet the press
Bangladesh must take a proactive strategy to fit itself and exploit the opportunities in the changing global scenario with the rise of new power-centric states like India and China. This was stated by the speakers at a meet the press after a roundtable titled 'Strategic Change' which was preceded by an international seminar on the same topic in the city on Monday.
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) organised the roundtable and meet the press at Goethe-Institut yesterday. The speakers said to reap the best from the gradual shift in the strategic landscape heading towards the emergence of a multi-polar world order, Bangladesh needs to develop strategy to assert its own policies. They said a demand for skilled manpower is growing fast in India and China as manpower is becoming expensive there and Bangladesh can take advantage of the situation.In the changing scenario, China is going to recruit skilled manpower from abroad. We definitely can take the opportunity, said BIPSS President Maj Gen ANM Muniruzzaman, adding that the best way of raising the country's negotiation stance is raising the skill of its manpower. Our policy should be of finding access to huge market of India,he added. Saying that Bangladesh has a very significant geo-strategic location and a huge manpower, the speakers said what the country now needs is solving outstanding bilateral issues with its neighbours to push its own policies. There may be a feeling of being sandwiched in between the two rising powers (India and China) but Bangladesh can learn a lot from them and exploit new opportunities being created with the change,said Dr Wilfried von Bredow, a political science professor of Philipps-University Marburg in Germany. Fencing (barbed-wire fence put up by India along its border with Bangladesh) is not a good gesture from any country, Prof Bredow said, adding, There are problems but don't take them as threats. Put bilateral problems in multilateral platforms. Saarc can be one way to ease the regional tension. SM Ali, a political and security analyst working with the BBC, said Bangladesh needs to be self-reliant in all aspects to strengthen its negotiating power.