SAARC connectivity: India inks landmark motor pact with Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal

Source: Economic Times

India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have inked a Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular traffic in Thimpu, Bhutan. The agreement, signed on Monday by transport minister Nitin Gadkari on behalf of India, will enable seamless movement of people and goods across the borders for the economic benefit of the entire region.

“This would further need to be supplemented through building and upgrading roads, railways and waterways infrastructure, energy grids, communications and air links to ensure smooth cross-border flow of goods, services, capital, technology and people,” said Gadkari.

A similar framework has been finalised between India, Myanmar and Thailand, the minister said. Once it is signed India will get access to the larger ASEAN market through seamless passenger and cargo movement. “Secretary level discussions were successfully concluded in Bengaluru this month and consensus has been reached on the text of the agreement,” he added.

A joint statement released by the four countries said, “We recognise that the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) agreement is a complementary instrument to the existing transport agreements or arrangements at the bilateral levels that the contracting parties will continue to honour. Implementation difficulties, if any, will be resolved based on provisions of the motor vehicle agreement.”

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