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EFSAS Study Paper: Disjointed Multilateralism & BRI in South Asia


The non-incorporation of all regional States is partially an outcome of differing regional orientations. BIMSTEC is focused on cooperation surrounding the Bay of Bengal and also includes two member States of ASEAN, Myanmar and Thailand, and ultimately seeks to strengthen the ties between eastern South Asia and Southeast Asia. Contrastingly, ECO’s spatial focus lies with economic engagement with Central and Western Asia. Given the diverging geographical orientations of both BIMTSEC and ECO, neither have the ambition to include the entirety of South Asia. As a result, SAARC is the main organization that actively seeks to engage all South Asian countries.