Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thank you Dr Yunus!

This is the right time to set the ball rolling for South Asia Union

obel laureate Muhammad Yunus' speech on South Asia Union (SAU) in the Indian Parliament on December 09, 2009 has resuscitated the age-old debate of unification of South Asia by 2030. He stressed on facilitating border-free movement along with having a common flag, currency, visa, trade policies. This idea is being criticised heavily by the main steam media. But then for once let’s just not criticise this vision but conversely analyse the benefit out of it. At the time when European Union is flourishing (both socially & politically) and is all set to emerge as a new world power and at the time when unification of Africa (a continent torn apart by wars, conflict & numerous social ailments) and South America is being worked out — the concept of SAU seems more achievable.

Every south Asian country is unique in itself and does hold an exclusive success story. Thus, on unification, each of these success stories (or success models) can be implemented Pan-SAU and thus many problems like poverty, employment, health and terrorism can be addressed. SAU can easily benefit from success mantra of Singapore, India, UAE, Turkey, Maldives, Iran, China – to name a few. If one of the south Asian union members has achieved zenith in international relations and lobbying then others are good at reducing poverty, fighting recession, becoming oil and real estate hub, generating tourism, eliminating conservative behaviour, outsourcing hub, generating employment, nuclear and scientific research and so on and so forth. However, amidst this rosy dream, the ongoing tension in south Asia acts as a nightmare. However, an unification can, to a large extent, dilute this issue too. Take for instant, the European Union (EU). None of the south Asian countries have been more hostile than Germany and France and Italy. And today we see Germany, Italy and France working together (as members of EU) and have recently appointed a common president for the union (with enforcement of Lisbon treaty on Nov 30, 2009). Even Slovakia and the Czech Republic (born out of Czechoslovakia) and are part of the union. Same can be iterated for the whole Balkan region.

We are far better-off as we share lot of common culture, festive (other soft power) and still have feeling of brotherhood for each other even across the border.

SAU will allow the countries to share resources so that 'resource-dearth' countries can grow and develop. This will in long run address more social problems (ranging from poverty to employment). The ball has already been set rolling with the inception of SAARC or South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. SAARC should now work towards uplifting all proposed SAU countries, economically and also help them in becoming politically more stable, so that in next two decades or so they are all ready for unification. Issues like migration, terrorism, conflicts needs to be addressed on urgent basis if SAU dream is to be realised. Twenty years is a plenty of time for SAARC member to eliminate all hurdles and start talks on SAU. SAU will be, if formed, one of the most powerful unions and beating EU, African Union and South American Union or for that matter even the US. Before we get reduced to ruins (because of ongoing tensions), we need to realise that sharing a few aspects will make each of us more developed and will inculcate trust and prosperity.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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