Signing of Amended SoP for the MoU on Inland Waterways

The amended Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the MoU on the Use of Inland Waterways between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was signed on September 15 2022, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Bhutanese delegation was led by Mr. Karma Tshering, Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Bangladeshi delegation was led by Mr. Md. Mostafa Kamal, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping. The amended SoP designates Aricha, Chilmari, Sirajganj, Mongla, Chattogram and Payra Port as the new ports of call for use by Bhutan. Bahadurabad was also agreed as an extended port of call of Chilmari. Earlier, there was only one port of call designated for use by Bhutan.

The amended SOP is expected to provide alternative transit routes and modes of transportation (with increased ports of call) for export and import. It will also help to promote, facilitate, expand and deepen trade relations between Bhutan and Bangladesh and be complementary to the Preferential Trade Agreement that came into effect from July 1, 2022.