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Indo-Bangladesh coastal trade looking up


Subsequent to a bilateral agreement signed between India and Bangladesh some time back to boost coastal and inland water shipping, among other things, there has been significant growth in coastal shipping between the two countries, it is learnt.

Heavy lift power equipment from Kolkata and trucks from Chennai are just a sampling of the variety of cargo that is moving from India to Bangladesh as well as through Bangladesh to India’s north-east, analysts have pointed out.

Road has till now been the predominant mode, but now coastal shipping is catching up due to its many advantages. For example, coastal movement significantly reduced the transit time for the trucks from the south of India to its eastern neighbour. Road movement would have entailed a distance of nearly 1,500 km taking 15 days.

Trade possibilities are expanding due to coastal shipping. Recent media reports have suggested that there has been a request made for a direct link between Kakinada port in Andhra Pradesh to a port in Bangladesh. And Bangladesh reportedly wants to tap the markets of India’s north using river transport through Kolkata and Haldia.

River routes linking both countries have now emerged as a major mode for sending goods to India’s north-east through Bangladesh. An increasing number of routes are being identified for the same, reports said.

There are possibilities galore on this key coastal route, analysts say.