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The river connects us

  • Published at 12:03 am November 6th, 2019
Indo-Bangla River Route Indian Shipping Ministry
Photo: Indian Shipping Ministry

This is clearly a win-win situation for our nations

It is wonderful to see that Bangladesh and India have taken their trade relationship to the next level by opening up a channel to ferry between Kolkata and Guwahati via Bangladesh.

There is no doubt that cargo commerce will receive a great boost from this new route, and this is clearly a win-win situation for our nations.

Much of the benefit to Bangladesh comes in the form of levies that will be earned from the movement of Indian ships, and increased movement of our own inland water vessels which will result from a greater navigability of rivers.

In order for these river routes to reach their full potential, it is important to invest in dredging, as well as other infrastructural development work, and it is good to see the deputy secretary of the Shipping Ministry assure us that such investments are underway.

Bangladesh is a country of rivers, and in order for our economy to reach its full potential, it only makes sense to increase river connectivity; for a long time, we have neglected to do so.

In the last fiscal, the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and India amounted to $10.25 billion, but it will now be possible to reach greater heights, with the new channel ushering in a new era of trade and connectivity.

India has the second-largest population in the world, and as such, potentially gives Bangladesh access to a staggeringly large market; unlocking new trade routes will increase competitiveness and reduce logistical costs, and this can only spell good things for the overall health of our economy.