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India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh Sign a landmark Motor Vehicles Agreement

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Some basic info to understand this news better:

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic and geopolitical organisation of eight countries that are primarily located in South Asia or Indian subcontinent.The eight countries are – India, Pakistan,Bangldesh,Afghanistan,Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Now, the news:

  •  India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh signed a landmark Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) for the Regulation of Passenger, Personnel and Cargo Vehicular Traffic among the four South Asian neighbours in Thimpu, Bhutan today.
  • The MVA agreement between sub-grouping of four SAARC nations, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) will pave the way for a seamless movement of people and goods across their borders for the benefit and integration of the region and its economic development.
  • Mentioning about the initiative to strengthen connectivity of the sub-region to ASEAN, the Minister said, “In this regard a major breakthrough has been achieved between India-Myanmar and Thailand. Three nations have agreed to develop a similar framework motor vehicle agreement on the lines of draft SAARC Motor vehicle agreement. On conclusion of this Agreement, our sub-region will get access to the larger ASEAN market through seamless passenger and cargo movement.”
  • Transforming transport corridors into economic corridors could potentially increase intraregional trade within South Asia by almost 60% and with the rest of the world by over 30%.
  • A BBIN Friendship Motor Rally is planned to be held in October 2015 to highlight the sub-regional connectivity and the scope and opportunities for greater people-to-people contact and trade under the BBIN initiative.

Know More about this news topic:

  • SAARC nations comprise 3% of the world’s area and contain 21% (around 1.7 billion) of the world’s total population and around 9.12% of Global economy as of 2015.
  • All non-Indian member states of SAARC except Afghanistan share borders with India but only two other members, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have a border with each other.
  • The idea of regional political and economical cooperation in South Asia was first raised in 2 May 1980 by Bangladesh President Ziaur Rahman and the first summit was held in Dhaka on 8 December 1985, when the organisation was established by the governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Since then the organisation has expanded by accepting one new full member, Afghanistan, and several observer members