GUWAHATI: Boosting India-Bangladesh maritime connectivity and trade ties, the first ever commercial shipment from neinghbouring country of Bangladesh reached Assam’s Karimganj on Saturday via the river route.
India has taken several steps to improve connectivity with Bangladesh and this came as another significant step that will boost connectivity and trade between both countries.
“Inland waterway connectivity-New Paradigm for India Bangladesh trade & prosperity! 1st ever commercial shipment by Premier Cement of Bangladesh to Assam India by river route. MV Premier 6 reaching Karimganj on 7 Nov. All year navigability & lower costs by dredging Kushiyara from Ashuganj-Zakiganj,” the official handle of the High Commission of India in Bangladesh tweeted.
In July, the first trial movement of a container ship carrying steel and pulses from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram Port of Bangladesh was flagged off opening huge opportunities for trade.
It was for the first time that Bangladesh allowed its ports to be used as a transit for cargo movement to India’s north-eastern states.
Access to Chittagong and Mongla seaports in Bangladesh is critical to opening shorter and alternative routes to connect the Northeast region with the rest of India. It drastically cuts short the distance between Kolkata and Agartala via Assam from about 1600km to just about 450 km.
India and Bangladesh had signed a coastal shipping agreement in 2015. India is helping Bangladesh in increasing the navigability of the rivers by assisting in the dredging of its waterways in selected stretches.
Welcoming the move, Indian ambassador to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami tweeted “Trade on the water… moving ahead.”