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Trade with northeast region to improve with access to key Bangladesh Ports: Shipping Minister

export
On shipping and maritime affairs, India and Bangladesh have had very close cooperation in the last few years.
NEW DELHI: The agreement between India and Bangladesh for use of the latter’s Chattogram and Mongla ports will significantly allow better connectivity with the northeast India, and help improve trade in the region, Shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday.

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was agreed upon last week, with Bangladesh allowing the use of its two ports for movement of goods to and from India through its territory, through which three landlocked states in the northeast region of India – Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura—will get access to open sea trade routes from Chattogram and Mongla Ports via Indian ports.

This comes as part of the BJP government's successful foreign policy initiatives, Mandaviya told reporters at a press briefing here.

The SOP on use of the two ports was finalised on October 5th, when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was visiting India.

“One major collaboration with Bangladesh will bring in a revolutionary cost-cutting in the shipments to and from the North Eastern States. The agreement is to use Chattogram & Mongla ports of Bangladesh for shipments which will drastically reduce the transportation costs,” Mandaviya said in a tweet later.

Larger ships carrying cargo destined for North East can now call at Chattogram and Mongla ports, thereby increasing trade volumes and reducing logistics cost.


With this development, the government is expecting food grains, fruits,organic products, tea, fish, jute cargo to be transported from North East India to various parts of India through Chattogram and Mongla ports.

“For example, Bamboo production in the NE states is huge, but still, Bamboo was imported from other countries due to low shipment costs. With the new costal shipping agreement, it is expected that the Bamboo industry in NE states will compete with imported products,” Mandaviya added.
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