Home ›› 23 Mar 2023 ›› Front

Bangladesh, Bhutan sign deal on transit

Staff Correspondent
23 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 23 Mar 2023 00:19:54
Bangladesh, Bhutan sign deal on transit
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lyonpo Karma Dorji sign the agreement on Wednesday– Courtesy Photo

Bangladesh and Bhutan on Wednesday signed the “Agreement on movement of traffic-in-transit and protocol” at the Bhutanese capital Thimpu to simplify further bilateral trade between the two countries.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Bhutanese Minister, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment Lyonpo Karma Dorji signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.

Dasho Tashi Wangmo, secretary, Bhutanese Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment and Dasho Karma Tshering, secretary, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, and other high officials were present.

Speaking on the occasion, Tipu Munshi said that following the signing of this epoch-making agreement, the trade and commerce between the two countries would be simplified further while the trade relations would get a new height.

“This instrument will strengthen further our diplomatic and economic ties,” he added.

Tipu said Bangladesh wants to expand trade and commerce among the neighbouring countries through increasing inter-communication and enriching value chain.

As part of this, he said under the agreement, Bangladesh is extending Bhutan the facility for using the country’s air, railways, river ports, land ports and sea ports since Bhutan is a landlocked country.

He also informed that Bangladesh would enjoy various charges and fees if products are imported and exported to and from Bhutan through Bangladesh.

“Besides, there will be infrastructural development. If the transit agreement is implemented, then the sea ports of Bangladesh will be more capable and the revenue income will increase further,” the commerce minister said.

Citing that trade and commerce between the two countries is increasing day by day, Tipu said that both the countries are pledge-bound to increase this cooperation and partnership.

He also urged Bhutan to support Bangladesh in various regional and multilateral forums side by side generating hydropower.

Later, in a meeting with the Bhutanese minister, concerned secretaries and other high official, Tipu stressed the need for increasing bilateral cooperation in the agriculture sector, especially for increasing the trade of mushrooms and other agri-products.

This agreement will make more effective the preferential trade agreement (PTA) signed earlier between the two countries. The agreement will be made effective once both the countries ratify it, he added.

On March 13, the cabinet gave in-principle approval to the draft transit deal with Bhutan.

“Bhutan is a landlocked country. They have no river or sea ports of their own for import and export. They get transit facilities from India. Now they are going to get the opportunity to use the land and port of Bangladesh,” Cabinet Secretary Mahbub Hossain told the media after the meeting.