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Bay of Bengal Economic Dialogue 2021

The South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) in Dhaka organized the

virtual Bay of Bengal Economic Dialogue (BoBED) 2021 from 8 to11 February 2021.

Dr Selim Raihan, Executive Director, SANEM and Professor, Department of

Economics, University of Dhaka was the convener. The Centre for Research on

Bhutanese Society (CRBS), Thimphu was one of the co-organizers along with

ASEAN-India Centre (AIC), RIS, India; South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and

Environment (SAWTEE), Nepal; Indian Studies Center (ISC) of Chulalongkorn

University, Thailand; and Pathfinder Foundation (PF), Sri Lanka.

The Dialogue started with the Welcome and Inaugural Sessions followed by the

Keynote Presentation. Dr. Kinlay Dorjee, Senior Agriculture and Development

Economist and former FAO official spoke in the Inaugural Session on behalf of the

CRBS on the possibility of strengthening cooperation in a potato development

program in the region.

A number of topics were covered during the four-day event comprising, inter alia:

- Digital Connectivity and E-Commerce;

- Trade and Regional Value Chains;

- Trade, and Regional Cooperation;

- Health and Education;

- Employment Challenges;

- Institutional Challenges for Post-COVID Recovery; and

- Strengthening People to People Contacts.

Dr.Karma Lhazeen, Director, Department of Public Health shared Bhutan’s

experience in managing the COVID-19 pandemic effectively. She highlighted that

the success resulted from the leadership provided at the highest level of the

State accompanied by strong and coordinated action taken by the Royal

Government in capacity building and enforcing strict preventive measures in the

country. The Co-Founder of CRBS, Achyut Bhandari shared his experience in

strengthening regional connectivity for forging more substantive cooperation in

the Bay of Bengal region, while Prof. Sanjeev Mehta of the Royal Thimphu

College put forward his ideas for tackling post-COVID challenges in the region.

The closing session saw the release of a summary of the Dialogue along with

closing remarks from the participating research institutions.

The event provided an excellent opportunity for the CRBS to introduce itself to

the leading research institutions of the region and network with them on themes

of mutual interest.

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