India, Bangladesh revive rail link, discuss CEPA, CEOs’ forum

By: |
December 18, 2020 3:30 AM

The decision to resume the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link during a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also important as both countries look at concerted effort to move up global and regional value chains and further integrating their economies by taking advantage of available synergies.

Movement of goods is expected to start soon on this crucial line that had snapped during the 1965 war with Pakistan.Movement of goods is expected to start soon on this crucial line that had snapped during the 1965 war with Pakistan.

India and Bangladesh, on Thursday, touched a new milestone in their economic engagement by reviving a cross-border railway line which will connect Assam to Bangladesh via West Bengal and boost connectivity and trade between the two neighbours. Movement of goods is expected to start soon on this crucial line that had snapped during the 1965 war with Pakistan.

The decision to resume the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link during a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also important as both countries look at concerted effort to move up global and regional value chains and further integrating their economies by taking advantage of available synergies.

Both leaders agreed that this rail connectivity would be a catalyst for the process and commended trade and railway officials for the cooperation shown in maintaining uninterrupted supply chains during Covid-19, including facilitating bilateral trade through existing rail routes, using side-door container and parcel trains.

India and Bangladesh also signed 7 agreements during the virtual summit, which cover cooperation in the hydrocarbons sector, agriculture and textiles, high impact community development projects to be carried out by India, supply of equipment for improving garbage disposal in Bangladesh’s Barishal city and terms of reference for creating a CEOs forum.

Recognising the immense potential of bilateral economic and commercial ties, both prime ministers directed the officials to expeditiously conclude the ongoing joint study on the prospects of entering into a bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

To facilitate better connectivity and simplify movement of passengers and goods between both the 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.

Sheikh Hasina appreciated the duty-free and quota-free access given to Bangladeshi exports to India under SAFTA since 2011 and both Prime Ministers emphasised on addressing issues of non-tariff barriers and trade facilitation including port restrictions, procedural bottlenecks and quarantine restrictions so that both countries can take full advantage of SAFTA flexibility.

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