Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Saturday reiterated the importance of enhancing connectivity for facilitating regional economic integration for the benefit of all parties involved.
To facilitate better connectivity and simplify movement of passengers and goods between the two neighbouring countries, both leaders agreed to an early operationalisation of the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement through expeditious signing of the enabling MoU for Bangladesh, India, and Nepal to commence the movement of goods and passengers, with provision for Bhutan to join at a later date.
India expressed gratitude for Prime Minister Hasina’s initiative of revitalising the pre-1965 rail connectivity as well as for Bangladesh’s support for the numerous connectivity initiatives through rail, road and waterways, according to joint statement issued on the occasion of the visit of Prime Minister of India to Bangladesh.
In the same spirit, Bangladesh reiterated its eagerness to partner in the ongoing initiative of the India–Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project.
Bangladesh side also requested India for favourable consideration of the new connectivity routes proposed by Bangladesh, namely allowing additional land ports of Bhadrapur-Bairagi Galgalia, Biratnagar-Jogmani and Birganj-Raxaul to be connected with Banglabandha-Fulbari and Birol-Radhikapur by road as alternative routes.
India was also requested to consider connecting Birol-Radhikapur and Rohanpur-Singhabad rail-interchanges with Biratnagar-Jogmani as this would help reduce the distance and cost of transportation of goods by rail from Bangladesh to Nepal.
Bangladesh side also sought rail connectivity with Bhutan through the newly inaugurated Chilahati-Haldibari route.
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