Quarterly Newsletter
Issue #12, October-December, 2022


Restoring the Changrabandha-Burimari railway link can boost cross-border trade | December 09, 2022
Changrabandha can emerge as a major trading point not only for India and Bangladesh but also for Bhutan. It provides transit, customs, immigration and cargo handling services for goods and passengers. Restoration of the Changrabandha-Burimari rail link and its integration with the upcoming ICP has huge potential to boost trade between and among these countries.

Dhubri river port: A potential cobweb of connectivity and trade in the BBIN sub-region | October 12, 2022
Dhubri riverport in Assam, located in National Waterway-2 (the Brahmaputra) along the India-Bangladesh Protocol Routes 1 and 2 and connected with Chilmari riverport in Bangladesh, which is at a distance of 60 kilometers, is emerging as an enabler for connectivity and trade in the BBIN sub-region.

River Diplomacy – A peace-building strategy for India & Bangladesh | October 12, 2022
During the past few years, several meaningful initiatives, such as Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Governments of India and Bangladesh on the withdrawal of water from the trans boundary Kushiyara River, for enhancing bilateral cooperation on trade, connectivity and energy have been taken by the leadership of both countries. Taken together they truly represent a Shonali Adhyaya (golden period) of bilateral relations.
Bangladesh’s garment exports to India are increasing
Bangladesh exported garment products worth $764 million to India in 2021 an increase of more than 25 per cent compared to the previous year.
At present about 80 per cent of exports of readymade garments from Bangladesh are directed to the US and European countries. But with rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics, many in the industry have voiced their opinion for establishing new markets.
India, Bangladesh discuss trade settlement in rupee, free trade agreement
Union minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tipu Munshi discussed the settlement of trade in Indian rupees in New Delhi.
A joint feasibility study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been carried out after the two countries agreed to explore a bilateral FTA. Other issues discussed were the removal of non-tariff barriers, re-opening of border haats, harmonisation and mutual recognition of Standards and procedures, settlement of trade in Indian rupees, strengthening connectivity and trade infrastructure, among others.
River routes can be extended to Bhutan with completion of Payra Channel: PM
With the completion of the Payra Channel the riverways can be extended to North Bengal, Assam and Bhutan, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Bangladesh government has undertaken the work of capital dredging for the Payra port. It is envisoned that once completed, ships with the capacity of 40,000-50,000 tonnes will be able to anchor at the port. After completion of approach roads to the Payra Port, its connection with the international trade corridor will be strengthened and neighbouring countries including India, Bhutan and Nepal can be benefitted.
Bangladesh to get 50MW electricity from Nepal
Nepal will initially supply 40-50 MW of electricity to Bangladesh, and supply will rise further after completion of a mega power project.

Bangladesh is eager to buy 500 MW electricity from the 900-MW Upper Karnali hydropower project. Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ghanshyam Bhandari also expressed his country's interest in using Banglabandha Land Port for trading, as it is nearer than Burimari port. He appreciated Bangladesh's cooperation towards Nepal, saying that many Nepalese students study in Bangladesh for higher degrees.
India provides development assistance of Rs 2792 million to Bhutan
India provides development assistance towards key Infrastructure Projects such as road infrastructure, urban development, youth development, agriculture, industrial development, and health infrastructure in Bhutan.
India is the largest provider of grant assistance to Bhutan, approximately 73 per cent in Bhutan’s total external aid. India is supporting the development of several dozen projects across Bhutan, like blacktopping of roads, the drinking water project, construction of 150 bedded mother and child hospital, and dvelopment of sports infrastructure in Bhutan etc.
Indian Railways, Bhutan discuss trade collaboration
The Indian Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) and Bhutan have discussed undertaking trade collaborations between the NFR and the neighbouring country, supporting the logistics avenues for future linkages.
A business development meeting was held in the NFR’s Alipurduar division and delegations from the Bhutan government’s foreign ministry, trade bodies, and chamber of commerce attended the meeting. The Bhutanese delegations visited Hasimara railway station where NFR is developing infrastructure for enabling trade with Bhutan. The delegation further intends to visit Changrabandha station.
Bhutan opens two more formal trade routes with India
Bhutan's two more formal trade routes with India are approved and will start functioning next month near the borders in Lhamoidzingkha in Dagana and Chhuchungsa in Samtse.
Lhamoidzingkha is close to both Assam and West Bengal in India, the route would help business people and residents.. The traders in Lhamoidzingkha are excited about the business opportunities once the Lhamoidzingkha-Kulkuli border is opened. Tourists are also expected to come in through this route if Lhamoidzingkha becomes one of tourism's entry and exit points.
Bhutan signs 600 MW PPA with PTC India
Bhutan will procure up to 600 MW of power from the Indian market to meet its requirement during the dry winter season.

Bhutan, through Druk Green Power Corp., has entered into an agreement with PTC India Ltd for the purchase of power from the Indian market during the dry winter season. The designated authority for cross-border power trading has approved the import of power by Bhutan. Bhutan has also executed the agreement with the Settlement Nodal Agency for the settlement of grid operation-related charges.
Assam's advantage in Bhutan-Bangladesh trade
Bangladesh opening six new ports of call for using its waterways and seaports by Bhutan is good news for Assam
Bangladesh opening six new ports of call for Bhutan is good news for Assam as it will make the Brahmaputra River route a growing hub of trade and commerce. The development of multimodal transport facilities along the Brahmaputra will attract more Bhutanese traders to make optimal use of the improved connectivity through Assam for the expansion of their export-import business.
Northeast important to government’s plans of making air connectivity nation’s lifeline: Scindia
While launching several new flights between the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram, two new international routes are also announced from the Northeast region to Bangladesh and Myanmar.
As part of the country’s Act East policy, two new international routes under Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik-Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN-RCS) from Agartala-Chittagong-Agartala and Imphal-Mandalay-Imphal are announced to expand the scope from regional connectivity to national connectivity to international connectivity for the northeast. Around Rs 500 crore corpus had been set aside for enhancing both inter and intra-northeast connectivity.
With Direct Air, Road, Water Connectivity, India’s First Multi-Modal Logistics Park in Assam Nearly Complete
The construction work at India’s first Multi-Modal Logistics Park (MMLP) in Assam’s Jogighopa is nearly complete. The park, under the Centre’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’, will provide direct air, road, rail and waterways connectivity to the region.
The park is being constructed by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) on 317-acre land along the Brahmaputra river. The project is expected to generate revenue worth around Rs 1,000 crore in the first three years from start of operation. Also, the estimated total employment to be generated after the commencement of MMLP is 11,521 jobs.
Bangladesh, Japan, India plan joint infra, investment push in NE amid China’s Belt and Road
It is proposed that New Delhi, Tokyo and Dhaka create a mechanism to discuss three key stumbling blocks to investment in the region: tariffs, customs procedures and connectivity.

India, Japan and Bangladesh are in discussions to coordinate connectivity efforts in Bangladesh and India's north-eastern states to attract regional value chains and manufacturing to the region over the next five years. The plan involves adjusting tariffs, boosting connectivity and jointly courting investment, particularly from Japanese enterprises, and binding India closer to countries on the Mekong river system such as Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Ambassador Bhandari calls on Bangladesh PM; the two discuss trade, energy, tourism and climate change
Discussions were held on consolidating Nepal-Bangladesh relations with a focus on better linkages in the areas of trade, transit, energy, education, and tourism, among others.
The excellent bilateral relations existing between the two countries have the potential and possibilities in the fields of trade, energy, tourism, and climate change.  The ongoing discussions on energy cooperation are encouraging and realizing this ‘win-win enterprise’ will be an important milestone for both the countries.
The New ‘Power’ Factor That’s Driving Indo-Nepalese Ties And Boosting The Himalayan Nation’s Economy
The export of power to India, and the consequent boost in the Himalayan nation’s export earnings, have triggered an uptick in bilateral ties

Nepal has exported power worth 10 billion Nepali Rupees (INR 625.6 crore) to India in the last year and this has proved to be a life-saver for the Himalayan nation’s Covid-19 pandemic-hit economy. This export, Nepal’s fourth largest in terms of value, has also emerged as the latest catalyst behind Indo-Nepalese ties.
Nepal’s trade deficit declines 19.79 percent during mid-July to mid-November
Nepal withstood a trade deficit of Rs 587.46 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year, a drop of 19.79 percent than the amount during the same period last year.
Nepal faced a trade deficit of Rs 732.41 billion. The negative trade balance declined by Rs 144.95 billion during the review period, mainly due to a heavy fall in imports expenses. Citing a pressure of declining foreign currency reserves, the government had imposed restrictions on imports of luxury items including tobacco products, diamonds, automobiles and TV sets, among others.
Nepal, India sign three memorandums of understanding
The projects, one each in the education, health care and drinking water sectors, will be constructed at a total estimated cost of 101.79 million Indian rupees.
Nepal and India signed three memorandums of understanding for undertaking three development projects under an Indian grant. The projects are in education, health care and drinking water sectors. The construction of the projects will provide better facilities for the local community and improve the quality of life for people in Nepal.
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