The country will join the group once  Parliament ratifies the agreement

Bhutan gave its consent for full implementation of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) motor vehicle agreement while it awaits Parliament to ratify it.

Bhutan will join the group once its Parliament ratifies the agreement, according to a press release from the foreign ministry. The decision was taken to facilitate the early implementation of the motor vehicle agreement.

The government views BBIN as a platform, encompassing key areas such as energy, trade, information, communication and technology. “Strengthening regional cooperation is especially significant for a landlocked country like Bhutan, and therefore, the RGoB remains fully committed to the BBIN process including the BBIN motor vehicle agreement,” the news release stated.

Recognising the importance of connectivity for expansion of economic cooperation, the transport ministers of the four countries signed the agreement in June 2015 in Thimphu.

While the other three countries have already ratified the agreement, Bhutan is in the process of completing its internal procedures for ratification. The government is also making efforts to address the concerns raised by various stakeholders.

The agreement is slated for deliberation in the upcoming session of Parliament as a disputed bill. The government is expected to withdraw the bill as the opposition and the National Council have said they would not support the agreement.

The opposition and the Council are of the view that the agreement, which will streamline movement of passenger and cargo transport among the four countries, will overwhelm the smallest country in the group. The government says Bhutan would lose economic opportunities if Parliament does not ratify the agreement.

Staff Reporter