US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas Thursday said the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS) is a positive, shared vision for creating a region where all nations can thrive – Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the US, and each and every other county in the region.
"The Indo-Pacific Strategy is not a military alliance. Nor does it seek to become one," he said, adding that the IPS is not about a contest between a US-centric region and a China-centric region. "Indeed, we view the Indo-Pacific as its own region."
While addressing the international conference on "Moving Forward in the Indo-Pacific: Bangladesh's Role in Fostering an Open, Resilient, and Interconnected Bay of Bengal and Beyond" the US envoy said the IPS is not designed to make anyone choose between countries.
One of the key tenets of the strategy is that every country should be able to choose its own path, free from pressure or coercion, he said.
The US Embassy in Dhaka and the Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) jointly organised the conference at the university auditorium.
The US ambassador said they will seek "closer security cooperation" with partners to tackle challenges – violent extremism, illegal fishing and human trafficking where Bangladesh has made incredible strides.
"The United States is proud to partner with Bangladesh on these challenges and more," he said.
Ambassador Haas said they are developing a comprehensive Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, which will include shared objectives in key areas – climate and clean energy, fair trade facilitation, resilient supply chains, and the digital economy.
"I look forward to working on these issues with the people and the government of Bangladesh in the coming months," he said, adding that they will bolster Indo-Pacific security.