Bhutan’s National Council Passes the Indo-Bhutan Trade Commerce, and Transit Agreement

12 May 2017

The National Council of Bhutan endorsed the Indo-Bhutan Trade, Commerce, and Transit Agreement on 12 May 2017, along with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Mr. Lekey Dorji, Economic Affairs Minister, Bhutan, explained the salient features of the Agreement, emphasizing how the revised bilateral trade Agreement will benefit both Bhutan and India, through the following provisions:

  • Free trade regime between Bhutan and India;
  • Duty free transit of Bhutanese merchandise for trade with third countries through Indian ports; and
  • Additional entry/exit points for Bhutan's trade with other countries.

The new agreement also promotes periodic exchange of trade data—necessitating proper documentation of trade data from both sides—to enable both countries to reconcile their trade figures.

The new Agreement was signed by Mr. Dorji and Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, India on 12 November 2016. It will come into force once both countries complete their internal ratification procedures. While awaiting its ratification, extension of the previous India-Bhutan Agreement on Trade and Commerce is still in effect.

The India-Bhutan bilateral agreement was first signed in 1972, and has been renewed four times.

Related Link:

ADB Blog: 6 Ways Asian Economic Cooperation is Changing the Region

Economic transformations have accelerated regional cooperation and integration in Asia. In this ADB blog post, Mr. Cuong Minh...

India Drafts Cross-border Energy Trade Framework

India's Ministry of Power is preparing a set of guidelines for cross-border trade of electricity, with draft regulations...

India, Bangladesh to Gradually Remove NTBs

The International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) held its 12th Annual Conference on 24 May 2017. The opening...

ADB Awards SASEC Rail Project among Best Performing Projects in Bangladesh

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Railway Connectivity Akhaura-Laksam Double Track Project, implemented by Bangladesh...

Former FBCCI President: Bangladesh-India Relations Better Now

Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Chairman, Nitol-Niloy Group, Bangladesh, and former President, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and...

SAARC Collaboration Urged to Attract Foreign Direct Investment

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and the...

Need to Improve Bangladesh-India Port Services

Mr. Taskeen Ahmed, President of the India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI) and his delegation...