Bay of Bengal has a potential to be a connectivity hub in Indo-Pacific region through infrastructure projects like Matarbari deep seaport, said Professor Tanaka Akihiko, president of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) of NSU.
He made the statement in a webinar on "Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal Area: Challenges and Options for Bangladesh" jointly organised by NSU and the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh on Saturday.
In his lecture, Professor Tanaka elaborated the economic resurgence of Indo-Pacific region and emphasised the importance of the realisation of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).
Prof Tanaka also emphasised the significance of the preservation of peace in Indo-Pacific for its prosperity.
He said that in dealing with China's growing power and its assertiveness, liberal democracies should avoid misunderstanding on their intentions.
Ambassador ITO Naoki, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, attended the programme as the guest of honor.
He stated that almost 50 years ago, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman emphasized the importance of freedom and peace in the Indian Ocean which has some relevance today.
He mentioned that it is important for Bangladesh to ensure the infrastructure projects are economically efficient and meet the country's requirements with its developmental stage, in line with debt sustainability.
Dr Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) opined that the Bay of Bengal is not only the third neighbor but it is a part of Bangladesh.
He also stated that Bangladesh should negotiate with RCEP for strengthening trade ties with its member countries.
Professor Atiqul Islam, vice-chancellor of North South University, chaired the webinar.
He highlighted the interests that big powers are showing in the Bay of Bengal and expressed hope that Bangladesh will successfully be able to balance its tactics in this regard.