in 1999, the four-nation initiative among Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) was articulated in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in China, to establish multilateral agreements addressing areas of cooperation, including trade, tourism, agriculture, natural resources, transportation, telecommunications, and energy. 1 The main thrust of the collaboration is to improve connectivity between the south-western region of China (SWC) and eastern and north-eastern India (ENEI) 2 by developing appropriate roads, railways, waterways and air links and thereby contribute to improved economic cooperation along the entire route cutting through Myanmar and Bangladesh. This initiative also resolved to foster regional interaction among scholars, governments and leaders of business and industry. A specific proposal focused on constructing a road between Kunming and Kolkata in India through the revival and extension of the ancient Southern Silk Road 3 to improve economic cooperation. The proponents of this initiative claim that it will stimulate international trade and promote regional cooperation. Given the fact that seven meetings of the BCIM initiative have been held, it is arguably the time to take stock and raise certain issues that have not received prominence in the larger discussions. This paper aims to do this by presenting research agenda that ought to be pursued simultaneously with initiatives that deepen economic cooperation.