Tuesday 16 June 2015

BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement

Four S Asian nations sign transit deal
Source: Financial Express BD
Why in news?
India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh signed a landmark Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) for the Regulation of Passenger, Personnel and Cargo Vehicular Traffic among the four South Asian neighbours in Thimpu, Bhutan.

BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) agreement is a complementary instrument to the existing transport agreements or arrangements at the bilateral levels that the contracting parties will continue to honour. 

So, what does it mean?

Source: New Indian Express

What is the timeline?
Source: Dhaka Tribune
What will be the benefits of BBIN?
  • Will promote safe, economical efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the sub-region 
  • Will further help each country in creating an institutional mechanism for regional integration.
  • BBIN countries will be benefited by mutual cross border movement of passenger and goods for overall economic development of the region.
  • Will further promote our cooperation in trade and commerce apart from further cementing our age old cultural ties
  • Enhance regional connectivity. 
  • Expand people-to-people contact, trade, and economic exchanges between our countries. 
  • Transforming transport corridors into economic corridors could potentially increase intraregional trade within South Asia by almost 60% and with the rest of the world by over 30%
  • A new sub-group in world - BBIN! Regional strength. 

What are the challenges ahead?
  • Building and upgrading roads, railways and waterways infrastructure energy Grids, communications and air links to ensure smooth cross border flow of goods, services, capital, technology and people.
  • Internal Security concerns
    • Illegal migration
    • Smuggling, etc.
  • Timely implementation of further steps to be taken (as per timeline given above)
  • Trade facilitation at Land border
  • Multi-modal transport facility
  • Customs system can be shared - this will save time by avoiding duplication
  • Bhutan has some reservations related to tourism as they want to strictly maintain culture and everything else of the Himalayas as per their own norms including Gross Happiness Index
What more can BBIN do?
  • Bhutan and Nepal can generate more power and sell to India and Bangladesh
    • It is not anymore a socialist hangup of exploitation by one country of other. It is mutual growth through co-operation.
Is India planning something similar with other countries?
  • A major breakthrough has been achieved between India-Myanmar and Thailand. Three nations have agreed to develop a similar framework motor vehicle agreement on the lines of draft SAARC Motor vehicle agreement. 
  • Secretary level discussions were successfully concluded in Bengaluru this month and consensus has been reached on the text of Agreement. 
  • On conclusion of this Agreement, our sub-region will get access to the larger ASEAN market through seamless passenger and cargo movement.
[Sources: PIB, Indian Express, The Hindu, Business Standard, LiveMint]


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