Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal (BBIN) - inked a Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), in the Bhutanese capital on Monday paving the way for uninterrupted vehicular movement among the four SAARC member states. The agreement was reached during a Transport Ministerial Meeting of the four nations held in Thimpu.
A five-member Nepali delegation led by Minister for Physical Infrastructures and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi had reached Thimpu to sign the agreement.
MVA paves the way for passenger, cargo and personal vehicles of the four countries to move in and out of those countries, enhancing greater mobility of goods and people within the sub-region. "We took note of the progress made in formulating and negotiating the MVA for the regulation of passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic between the SAARC member states, but at the same time recognize the need to accelerate cross-border transport facilitation to deepen and hasten regional integration through sub-regional measures in line with the directives of our leaders as articulated in the Declaration of the 18th SAARC Summit," reads the text of the MVA.
The BBIN MVA states that this is a complementary instrument to existing transport agreements or arrangements at the bilateral levels that the contracting parties will continue to honor, and implementation difficulties, if any, will be resolved based on the provisions of the BBIN MVA. The four nations have identified 30 priority transport connectivity projects with an estimated total cost of over US$8 billion.
The four countries have also announced they are to hold a BBIN Friendship Motor Rally in October 2015 to highlight sub-regional connectivity and the scope of opportunities for greater people-to-people contact and trade under the BBIN initiative.