Bangladesh, India and Nepal have finalised an enabling memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed by the three countries for implementation of the much-awaited BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), pending its ratification by Bhutan, to facilitate movement of passenger, personal, and cargo vehicular traffic.
The decision to finalise the MoU was taken at a two-day meeting of senior officials of Bangladesh, India and Nepal in New Delhi on March 7-8. Bhutan participated in the meeting as an observer, according to reports.
The officials agreed on specific steps and timelines needed to expeditiously finalise the passenger and cargo protocols for the implementation of the BBIN MVA, which was signed on June 15, 2015.
ATM Rokebul Haque, Director General (South Asia) of the foreign ministry, led the Bangladesh delegation at the meeting.
Recalling the commitments made at the highest level for implementation of the BBIN MVA, the delegations at the meeting expressed their desire to sign the MoU at the earliest to give momentum to the implementation of the agreement, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said.
The officials of the countries at the meeting emphasised the importance of operationalising the BBIN MVA expeditiously to enable seamless movement between them for facilitating trade and people-to-people contact.
This was the first meeting of the officials since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last meeting was held in February 2020 in New Delhi.
Operationalising the MVA by concluding the passenger and the cargo protocol will help realise the full potential of trade and people-to-people connectivity between the BBIN countries by fostering greater subregional cooperation.
The Asian Development Bank provided technical and knowledge support to the New Delhi meeting held on March 7 and 8.