Regional energy trade may help BBIN nations achieve double-digit growth: Experts, The Business Standard, 22 September 2022

Regional energy trade may help BBIN nations achieve double-digit growth: Experts, The Business Standard, 22 September 2022

Amid the current volatility in the global fuel market, regional energy trade among the BBIN nations might prove effective in achieving their anticipated double-digit economic growth by ensuring energy security among the parties, experts said at a seminar yesterday.

The expected double-digit GDP growth may face a setback if the energy supply is not secured in the industry, said Dr MA Razzaque, research director of the Policy Research Institute, told the closing session of the two-day seminar jointly organised by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) in the capital.

"In that context, energy sharing or trade among the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal) nations can help them achieve the target by ensuring energy security as each of these nations has different types of resources," he said. 

While speaking about Bangladesh's pledges toward renewable energy and the future of the RMG exports to Europe, Dr MA Razzaue said the Bangladeshi industry may face penalties from European countries just because of fossil fuel consumption in the industry.

"So, to retain growth in RMG exports to the European market, transition to renewable energy sources is a must, and regional energy trade, especially hydropower of Nepal and Bhutan, could be a boon for them," he added.

Sanjay K Bhardwaj, chairperson of the Centre for South Asian Studies School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who attended the programme virtually shed light on the current energy scenario of India and its energy trade with the BBIN nations.

Replaying a question he said, "India has been extending regional energy transmission grids both electricity and oil and gas to the neighbouring countries in order to achieve its as well as the neghbouring countries' renewable energy targets."

Senior journalist Khawaza Main Uddin and The Business Standard's staff correspondent Eyamin Sajid gave two PowerPoint presentations as media fellows of The South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy (SARI/EI).

Among others, Project Director of SARI/EI Pankaj Batra and Research Director of BEI Professor Shahab Enam Khan spoke at the seminar.

Students from Dhaka University and Jahangirnagar University participated in the programme and shared their thoughts on cross-border energy trade.


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