By Our Reporter
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that the trilateral transit arrangements involving Nepal-India and Bangladesh would change the logistics landscape of the sub-region.
“With such arrangements, we can explore the possibilities of utilising inland waterways in this sub-region going beyond the road and rail networks,” Prime Minister Oli said while addressing the India-Nepal Logistic Summit 2019 on Sunday.
“Bangladesh has permitted Nepal to use the facilities at the Mongla Port since September 1997, following the opening of Kakarbhitta-Phulbari-Banglabundh transit route. It has also permitted additional rail corridor to Nepal via Rohanpur-Singhabad for transit,” PM Oli said during his lengthy speech.
However, these transit facilities with and through Bangladesh for Nepal’s international trade are yet to be operationalised, Prime Minister added, hinting at non-cooperation from India to exploit the facilities.
He also suggested enhancing cooperation under the BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) framework to improve connectivity and logistics.
Stating that it was critical for a landlocked country like Nepal to be connected with the neighbourhood, region and to the rest of the world, the Prime Minister lamented that despite improvements made over the years, Nepal was still bearing the brunt of high logistic cost in the transit transport of goods, both export and import.
He also argued that connectivity remains a topmost agenda in Nepal-India bilateral cooperation framework.
Prime Minister Oli expressed happiness that his vision for inland waterways was being translated into reality.
He said inland waterways would be a game changer in transport transit system. “It will not only reduce cost of transit transport but also diversify transit transport options. It will benefit both the countries,” he said.
“In view of the changing dynamics of trade and transit, we have initiated review of both transit treaty and railway service agreement. Further simplification of transit process would bring positive impact on economic growth and development of Nepal,” PM Oli said.