Bhutan Discusses Trade Linkages via Railway with Indian Railways Officials

9 November 2022

A delegation from the Government of Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, trade bodies, and chamber of commerce, met with officials of India's Northeast Frontier Railway in Alipurduar Railway Division, North Bengal, India, on 1 November 2022 to explore trade collaboration via railway.

The meeting discussed the logistics for future linkages with Bhutan and the cost competitiveness of railway transport. Railway freight could enable expeditious transport of goods in bulk to markets across both countries.

The Bhutanese delegation also conducted an onsite visit to Hasimara railway station in Alipurduar to see the infrastructure being developed by the Northeast Frontier Railway to promote cross-border trade with Bhutan. Indian Railways also plans to build a siding along with a warehouse in collaboration with the Central Warehousing Corporation, shared Mr. Sabyasachi De, chief public relations officer, Indian Railways. India also proposed building a broad-gauge railway track from Kokrajhar in India to Gelephu in Bhutan to further strengthen cross-border railway links.

In October 2022, Indian Railways successfully delivered 75 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) by rail and road to Bhutan—its first delivery to Bhutan via multimodal route. The SUVs were loaded at the Walajabad terminal, Chennai, and offloaded to Hasimara station. Upon arriving, the SUVs were loaded on trucks en route to Bhutan via road. Hasimara is an Indian town strategically located around 20km from an India-Bhutan border.

Connecting through Indian Railways could provide Bhutan with a link to Bangladesh to transport automobiles, cement and stone commodities. According to a report by the Times of India, Bhutan is eager to use Indian Railways’ infrastructure to trade with Bangladesh through the Changrabanda railway station in Cooch Behar.


Related links

Meeting between NFR and Bhutan officials

Bhutan eyes Bangla trade routes via Indian Railways


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