The Indian Ocean is currently center-stage in international politics, and policymakers and scholars alike are looking at the prospects and challenges that the region is facing. The interests and directions of the countries of the region as well as of that of extra-regional powers need to be taken into account while formulating grand strategy. This can become challenging when the definition of which countries constitute the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is itself a matter of dispute, where a broad definition identifies 36 countries belonging to the region, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) takes a conservative approach by allowing only 23 countries as its members.
For Bangladesh, its rise and stability depend upon understanding the nuances of both regional and international politics surrounding the Indian Ocean region and more specifically in the Bay of Bengal region. Bangladesh’s focus on a greater understanding of the region would contribute to determining where its maritime investments are made keeping in view its strategic interests.