Recently, India, Bangladesh and Nepal finalised an enabling memorandum of understanding (MoU) for implementing the long-gestating Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) that is aimed at boosting regional trade and connectivity.
About BBIN MVA:
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) had signed the Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) in 2015 at Thimphu, Bhutan.
To provide seamless people-to-people contact and enhance economic interaction by facilitating cross border movement of people and goods.
As per the agreement, member countries would allow vehicles registered in the other countries to enter their territory under certain terms and conditions.
Customs and tariffs will be decided by the respective countries and these would be finalized at bilateral and trilateral forums.
Assistance:Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been providing technical, advisory, and financial support to the BBIN MVA initiative as part of its assistance to the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program.
Bhutan’s point of view:
Bhutan PM has said that the country’s top priority is to remain “carbon-negative”. That’s why it would not be possible for them to join the MVA as there are serious sustainability and environmental concerns.
Bhutan is the only country in the world that is carbon negative, which means it produces more oxygen than it consumes.
About the recent meeting:
The trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would be similar to the four-nation pact signed in 2015, but would be effective only for movement of vehicles within the three nations without any obligation for Bhutan.
They also agreed to work fast on two separate protocols, which, once finalized, would govern the movement of passenger and cargo vehicles among the three nations.
Bhutan also sent its officials to take part in the meeting hosted by India but as observers.
The delegations from Bangladesh, India and Nepal agreed upon the need to expeditiously finalize the Passenger and Cargo Protocols for implementation of the BBIN MVA (Motor Vehicle Agreement).