Protocols to operationalize the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement were discussed

India, Bangladesh and Nepal have finalized 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 finalize the agreement was taken at a two-day meeting of senior officials of Bangladesh, India and Nepal in New Delhi on Monday and Tuesday, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Bhutan participated in the meeting as an observer.

This was the first meeting of the group since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last meeting was held in February 2020 in New Delhi.

According to the MEA, the meeting discussed the protocols to operationalize the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal, signed on June 15, 2015.

Recalling the commitments made at the highest level for implementation of the BBIN MVA, the delegations expressed their desire to sign the MoU at the earliest to give momentum to the implementation, the ministry added.

The countries emphasized the importance of operationalizing the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) expeditiously to enable seamless movement between the participating countries for facilitating trade and people-to-people contact.

Operationalizing the MVA by concluding the Passenger and the Cargo Protocol will help realize the full potential of trade and people-to-people connectivity between the BBIN countries by fostering greater sub-regional cooperation, the MEA said.

The Indian delegation was led by MEA Joint Secretary Smita Pant, while the Bangladesh delegation was led by Director General (South Asia) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ATM Rokebul Haque.

The Nepalese delegation was headed by Keshab Kumar Sharma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, while the Bhutanese observer team was led by Thinley Norbu, First Secretary, Royal Bhutanese Embassy in New Delhi.