India can now use two crucial Bangladesh ports - Chattogram and Mongla - for shipment of its cargo, which will cut time and cost significantly, India's shipping minister Mansukh Lal Mandavia said.
He has said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy initiative regarding use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India will bring revolutionary cost-cutting in shipments to and from the North Eastern States.
During the official visit of Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of People's Republic of Bangladesh to India , a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) wherein Bangladesh allowed the use of its Chattogram and Mongla Ports for movement of goods to and from India through its territory was signed and exchanged by India and Bangladesh before the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh.
"The agreement and SOP permit the movement of goods in Bangladesh through waterways, rail, road or multi-modal transport. Eight routes are provided under the Agreement which would enable access of North East Region (NER) via Bangladesh," said a government release.
The conclusion of the SOP on Chattogram and Mongla ports would reduce distance, time and logistic cost for transport of goods and is a win win situation for both the economies.
In addition to this, an addendum to ‘Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade’ (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh has been signed for inclusion of Dhubriin India and Pangaonin Bangladesh as new Ports of Call.
These agreements will facilitate easier movement of goods and passengers between the two countries, giving an impetus to trade and tourism, said the release.
On shipping and maritime affairs, India and Bangladesh have had very close cooperation in the last few years.