Bangladesh and Bhutan on Wednesday signed the “Agreement on movement of traffic-in-transit and protocol” at the Bhutanese capital Thimpu to simplify further bilateral trade between the two countries, reports news agency BSS.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi and Bhutanese minister for industry, commerce and employment Lyonpo Karma Dorji signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
Dasho Tashi Wangmo, secretary, Bhutanese ministry of industry, commerce and employment and Dasho Karma Tshering, secretary, ministry of energy and natural resources and other high officials were present.
Speaking on the occasion, the commerce minister said that following the signing of this epoch making agreement, the trade and commerce between the two countries would be simplified further while the trade relations would get a new height. “This instrument will strengthen further our diplomatic and economic ties,” he added.
Tipu Munshi said Bangladesh wants to expand trade and commerce among the neighbouring countries through increasing inter-communication and enriching value chain. As part of this, he said under the agreement, Bangladesh is extending Bhutan the facility for using the country’s air, railways, river ports, land ports and sea ports since Bhutan is a landlocked country.
He also informed that Bangladesh would enjoy various charges and fees if products are imported and exported to and from Bhutan through Bangladesh. “Besides, there will be infrastructural development. If the transit agreement is implemented, then the sea ports of Bangladesh will be more capable and the revenue income will increase further,” the minister said.
Citing that trade and commerce between the two countries is increasing day by day, Tipu said that both the countries are pledge-bound to increase this cooperation and partnership.
The commerce minister also urged Bhutan to support Bangladesh in various regional and multilateral forums side by side generating hydropower.
Later, in a meeting with the Bhutanese minister, concerned secretaries and other high official, Tipu stressed the need for increasing bilateral cooperation in the agriculture sector especially for increasing the trade of mushrooms and other agri-products.
This agreement will make more effective the PTA signed earlier between the two countries. The agreement will be made effective once both the countries ratify it.