India, Bangladesh ink agreement to promote coastal shipping

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) In a bid to promote coastal shipping, India and Bangladesh on Sunday inked the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to operationalise the “Agreement on Coastal Shipping” they signed in June.

This will enhance trade by bringing down the cost of transportation of EXIM (Export-Import) cargo.

“Once it is operational, the coastal shipping agreement will enable a huge saving in logistic costs of EXIM transport between the two countries,” union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said in a statement.

“The SOP has been framed as per the terms and conditions of the agreement on coastal Shipping and both India and Bangladesh have agreed to its provisions,” Gadkari said after officials from both the sides inked the SOP.

“The opening of coastal shipping between India and Bangladesh would enable the movement of cargo to the northeast through coastal shipping up to Chittagong and thereafter by road/inland waterways,” the statement said.

“The deep draft ports on the eastern coast of India can be ‘hub ports’ for the onward transportation of cargo to Bangladesh via the coastal mode through RSV category of vessels,” it added.

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