March 2017 \ News \ BUSINESS FEATURE
Bangladesh - India Trade

At the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) in February where the Indo-Bangla Trade Fair was started, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh,

By Yogi Ashwini

The movement of goods by road is operationalised through 36 Land Customs Stations (LCSs) and 2 Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) along the border. The Srimantapur LCS was inaugurated in January, 2016. In February, 2016 Phulbari-Banglabandha Immigration Check Post was opened. In July 2016 the two Prime Ministers inaugurated the Petrapole Integrated Check Post (ICP), which will facilitate cross-border movement of people and goods.

The Protocol on Inland Water Trade and Transit (PIWTT) has been operational since 1972. It permits movement of goods over barges/vessels through the river systems of Bangladesh on eight specific routes.  The PIWTT was renewed for a period of five years with provision for auto renewal during the Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015. Trans-shipment of goods to Northeastern States of India through Ashuganj river port and further through Akhaura-Agartala by road has commenced in June 2016 under the PIWTT. Connectivity through the Coastal Waterways enabled by the signing of the Coastal Shipping Agreement is also of priority to both India and Bangladesh.

Passenger train service ‘Maitree Express’ between Kolkata and Dhaka operates 4 days a week. Three Broad Gauge inter-country rail links between the two countries are operational out of the 6 rail links that exist. While remaining 3 rail links are being worked upon to reopen, 2 new rail links are under discussion. There are regular bus services between Kolkata-Dhaka, Shillong-Dhaka and Agartala-Kolkata via Dhaka. The trial run of the Khulna-Kolkata bus service was completed successfully in August 2016. There are regular flights between India and Bangladesh connecting Dhaka and Chittagong with New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) – Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) will significantly boost connectivity by road. The trial Run of Cargo Movement on Trucks from Kolkata to Agartala via Dhaka and Dhaka to New Delhi via Kolkata and Lucknow has been conducted in August 2016.

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