The Indian government has reached an agreement with Bangladesh to allow goods destined for North East India to transit through Chattogram and Mongla ports.
Indian Shipping Minister, Mansukh Mandavia, says the deal will be a ‘win win’ situation for both countries and will significantly cut the cost of transportation goods to and from North Eastern States. The agreement was signed during an official visit of H.E Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, earlier this month.
Three landlocked Indian states, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura, will get access to open sea trade routes from Chattogram and Mongla ports. Cargo transportation through waterway routes from Kolkata and Haldia to the North East is limited to 2000 ton vessels. In future, larger ships carrying cargo destined for the region can call at Chattogram and Mongla, thereby increasing trade volumes and reducing logistics costs.
The Indian government points out that the distance between Agartala in Tripura state and Kolkata is 1500km, whereas it is only 250 km between Agartala and Chattogram. The shorter distance will make North East states’ products more competitive in the market, Mandavia said.