Meeting of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Transport Ministers on Regional Road Transport Connectivity
The Meeting of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) Transport Ministers on Regional Road Transport Connectivity finalized and endorsed the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)—a landmark framework agreement to facilitate the seamless flow of passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic between and among the BBIN countries—and proposed a work plan to ensure its speedy and effective implementation.
Concrete outcomes of the Meeting included:
- A Joint Ministerial Statement (JMS), reflecting key agreements on the implementation of BBIN MVA;
- Six-month work plan to implement the MVA beginning July until December 2015, including formulation and finalization of the legal instruments and operating procedures to implement the MVA, and installation of the required systems and infrastructure, such as information technology (IT) systems, and tracking and regulatory systems; and
- Review of progress made in improving land transport connectivity and cross-border facilities between and among the BBIN countries, including the pipeline of priority SASEC road connectivity projects (2015-2020).
A flagging-off ceremony for the Route Survey of the planned BBIN Friendship Motor Rally (BBIN Rally) was also held on 15 June. The BBIN Rally, scheduled in October 2015, will highlight subregional connectivity, including the scope and opportunity for greater people-to-people contact and trade under the BBIN initiative.
The Meeting was organized by the Royal Government of Bhutan’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MOIC) led by His Excellency Lyonpo Dina Nath Dungyel, Minister of MOIC. Heading the delegations from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal were: Mr. Obaidul Quader, Minister of Road Transport and Bridges, Bangladesh; Lyonpo D. N. Dhungyel, Minister of Information and Communications, Bhutan; Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, and Shipping, India; Mr. Bimalendra Nidhi, Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Nepal. Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay gave the welcome statement. Mr. Wencai Zhang, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) delivered opening remarks. The Meeting was supported by staff and consultants of ADB.
This Meeting was preceded by the BBIN Transport Secretaries Meeting in February 2015, coordinated by ADB, which finalized the draft BBIN MVA and arrangements for the agreement’s signing, and proposed a general approach to implementation.