Will India Allow Nepal-Bangladesh Trade?

After agreeing to a rail link between Nepal and Bangladesh, will India allow the two countries to use that?It didn’t happen in 1976 when Bangladesh and Nepal signed a transit agreement for boosting bilateral trade but failed to implemented it as India did not allow its territory to be used for passage at that time. Here’s a report that appeared in a Bangladeshi newspaper that caught our attention:

Doubt over benefit from Nepal rail link: Bangladeshi paper

Analysts emphasise two-way transit, use of Chittagong and Mongla ports by the Himalayan country. By Sajjadur Rahman/ The Daily Star (Bangladesh)

A rail transit between Bangladesh and Nepal, as desired by India at the foreign secretary level talks in Dhaka, could only be fruitful if Nepal is given a go-ahead for external trade through the use of Bangladesh’s Mongla and Chittagong ports, say analysts.

“This is not very clear whether Nepal will be allowed to use Bangladesh ports for its exports and imports,” said Dr M Rahmatullah, a noted transport expert and former director (transport) of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap).

No side will benefit from the proposed transit facility unless the Himalayan landlocked country does its foreign trade via Bangladesh, viewed Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

“What I have understood from the talks it must be a two-way traffic and Nepal should be allowed to go to a third country via Bangladesh,” said Rahman of the private think tank. Continue reading Will India Allow Nepal-Bangladesh Trade?

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