Due to its geographic location connecting South and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh holds strategic importance in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.” – Statement by the United States.
“The UK considers Bangladesh an increasingly important strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region and recognizes its key role in upholding the Rules-Based International System (RBIS).” – Statement by the United Kingdom.
“Situated in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh is geopolitically vital and should leverage its geographical advantage to maximize economic opportunities.” – Statement by Japan.
“As the gateway to South and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh remains centrally located in the Bay of Bengal region. This geographic positioning makes the country a focal point in the Indo-Pacific strategies of the United States, India, Japan, and Australia.
Numerous initiatives, such as the Asia Rebalancing Strategy, Belt and Road Initiative, Free and Open Indo-Pacific, Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, Trilateral Security Pact, Indo-Pacific Tilt, Security and Growth for All in the Region, and Indo-Pacific Economic Forum for Prosperity, have been adopted by various countries to address emerging security challenges, as well as infrastructural, economic, and technological developments in the region.
In April 2023, Bangladesh introduced a peace and development-centric Indo-Pacific Outlook. According to State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, “Our Indo-Pacific Outlook aims to convey that the region is meant for common prosperity, benefiting not only its residents but the entire world.”
A closer examination of Bangladesh’s maritime policy reveals a commitment to promoting a rules-based maritime order in the Indo-Pacific region over the decades. In its foreign policy and international relations, the country consistently advocates for a free and open Indo-Pacific. The Indo-Pacific Outlook highlights four principles aligned with Bangladesh’s foreign policy: “friendship to all, malice toward none,” respect for national sovereignty and equality of other countries, political independence, and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other nations.