Australia’s 2020 defence strategic update identifies the northeast Indian Ocean as a priority area as part of our immediate region, but it’s also where our security relationships are the least developed. A new report published by the National Security College examines Australia’s interests in that region and options for enhanced security relations with Bangladesh.
For at least a decade, Australia has rightly concentrated on India as its key South Asian partner, but it is now time to broaden that strategy to include other countries in that region. Enhanced security, political and economic relations with Bangladesh should be part of that. Despite being one of the first countries to recognise an independent Bangladesh, Australia has not properly developed the relationship.
The National Security College (NSC), with the support of the Department of Defence, is leading a two-year research project on Australia’s Indo-Pacific strategy in the Indian Ocean. As a part of this project, this paper analyses Australia’s potential for a productive relationship with Bangladesh. This paper first appeared on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s ‘The Strategist’ on 8 June 2021.