India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal are collectively known as BBIN and will also be participating in India’s connectivity initiatives in the Myanmar-Thailand and Indo-Pacific regions. The MVA among the BBIN network was signed in 2015 which would facilitate unrestricted cross-border movement of cargo, passenger, and personal vehicles between these four countries.
India is committed to its global commitment of economic recovery along with vaccine diplomacy and international COVAX initiatives, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal are beneficiaries of India’s vaccines.
The World Bank in its latest report on ‘Connecting to Thrive: Challenges and Opportunities of Transport Integration in Eastern South Asia’ put forward the view that transport connectivity between India and Bangladesh has the potential to increase national income by as much as 17 per cent in Bangladesh and 8 per cent in India. “It is time that connectivity should be used for development in BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) countries and the World Bank is an active partner to be investing in this area in this sub-region”, Ahmad said at the virtual launch of the report. The report analyses the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicles agreement (MVA). It has compared it with international practices and the report has identified its strengths as well as gaps for seamless regional connectivity.
A Public Policy Agency commented that Bhutan has not yet ratified the MVA. He emphasized that BBINMVA is a sustainable, inclusive and resilient means of economic change. The webinar which was Organized by CUTS International discussed the potential of BBIN MVA in sub region economic recovery and two CUTS publications on the link between waterways and industries and logistics clusters. He believes that MVA is a stepping stone to the overall and larger multimodal transportation connection framework in the BBIN sub region, and participation in the TIR Convention, a global customs transportation system, can enhance such efforts. Absur Alam, an assistant professor (economics), MKS College, LN Mitira University, Dalbanga stated that as multimodal logistics parks are being created in sub-regions.
Absur Alam said that the implementation of MVA could accentuate a resurgence of sub-region economic activity, the MVA protocol once it was operated would allow the newly developed integrated check-post to facilitate smooth implementation, and repair the vehicle by developing or adopting already developed mechanisms. He said that it was imperative to address technical issues such as insurance and insurance.
Fahmida Khatun, Secretary-General of the Center for Policy Dialogue emphasized that financial needs, resource mobilization, document standardization and harmonization, border coordination, custom requirements, electronic data interchange, security and other issues are also integral parts of the BBIN MVA implementation which needs to be addressed.