Bhutan urges 3 other BBIN members to go ahead

Bhutan urges 3 other BBIN members to go ahead

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Dhaka – Having failed to address domestic concerns timely, Bhutan has urged three other South Asian countries to move ahead with the Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) signed among the four countries considering the importance of connectivity in the region.UNB news agency reported
The Bhutanese government has given its consent for entry into force of the agreement among Bangladesh, India and Nepal to facilitate the early implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) MVA without any obligation to Bhutan, a diplomatic source told UNB.
The agreement will enter into force for Bhutan after its ratification process is completed, according to an official communication seen by UNB.
The Bhutanese government views BBIN as a platform, encompassing key areas such as energy, trade, information, communication and technology, according to Bhutanese Foreign Ministry.
” Strengthening regional cooperation is especially significant for a landlocked country like Bhutan and, therefore, the Royal Government remains fully committed to the BBIN process including BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement,” said the ministry.
During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Bhutan visit earlier this month, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay recognised the importance of BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement for regional connectivity and expressed their desire towards an early operationalization of the agreement, said a Foreign Ministry official.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, during Hasina’s New Delhi visit, welcomed the opening of the Phulbari- Banglabandha Immigration Check Post in February 2016 as a significant step towards increasing people-to-people contacts and facilitating movement of goods not only between the two countries but the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) sub-region.
Though three countries – Bangladesh, India and Nepal – have already ratified the Agreement, the Bhutanese government is still in the process of completing its internal procedures for ratification to address the concerns raised by the domestic stakeholders.
The BBIN motor vehicle agreement was rejected by the National Council (NC), the upper house of the Bhutanese Parliament, on November 15 last year.
The pact, which aims to have seamless movement of cargo containers, trucks and passenger vehicles within these four countries across the international borders, was signed in the Bhutanese capital in 2015.
The BBIN agreement is designed to promote safe, economical efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the sub-region and will further help each country create an institutional mechanism for regional integration, said an official.
The BBIN countries will be benefited by mutual cross-border movement of passengers and goods for overall economic development of the region.
The people of the four countries will benefit through seamless movement of goods and passenger across borders, said the official.
Recognising the importance of connectivity for expansion of economic cooperation, the Transport Ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal signed the “Motor Vehicles Agreement for Regulation of Passenger,Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal” (BBIN MVA), on June 15, 2015 in Thimphu.

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