New Delhi: A Commerce Secretary level meeting held between India and Bhutan on trade and transit issues on Wednesday decided operationalize seven additional entry/exit points for trade between the two countries.
This will form an addendum to the Protocol of 2016 India-Bhutan agreement on trade, commerce and transit and facilitate India-Bhutan bilateral trade for mutual advantage. Trade between India and Bhutan has more than doubled from USD 484 million in 2014-15 to USD 1083 million in 2020-21.
Extensive discussions were held on the current trade and transit issues by the Indian delegation which was led by BVR Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Bhutanese delegation led by Dasho Karma Tshering, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Government of Bhutan.
The parleys included measures to further strengthen bilateral trade relations and issues of mutual interest and on ways to increase trade connectivity between the two countries.
Seven additional entry/exit points for trade between India and Bhutan were formalised through Letters of Exchange (LOE) which are the Nagarkata land customs station without commodity restriction, Agartala land customs station as an entry/exit point and Pandu port (Guwahati steamer ghat) as an entry /exit point, subject to cross border control at Dhubri. The Jogighopa port as an entry/exit point would be subject to cross border control at Dhubri, while the Asian Highway 48 connecting Torsha tea garden in India and Ahllay in Bhutan will serve as an additional route corresponding to the land custom station at Jaigaon. The others are the Kamardwisa entry/exit point and Birpara entry/exit point.