Bhutan did not ratify a regional motor vehicle agreement involving Bangladesh, India and Nepal because of concern over its impact on environment and culture, a senior Royal Bhutan Consulate General official said today.
But the country would join the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA) after addressing these internal procedures, Vice-Consul, Royal Bhutan Consulate General office, Prema Tobgay, said here.
India had proposed the BBIN MVA in 2014 to build a freight corridor connecting the four south Asian nations. But Bhutan announced in April this year that it would not be able to ratify the agreement now and asked the three other nations to go ahead with the plan without it.
"Bhutan has given go ahead signal to the other three countries but there are people in our land having expressed diverse concerns about impact on environment, culture, peace and security," the Vice-Consul, Royal Bhutan Consulate General office, Prema Tobgay, said.
Bhutan was a part of the process as it considered the BBIN MVA as not just a platform for motor vehicles movement but exchanges in the fields of energy, trade, information technology and communication, he said.
"While Bangladesh, India and Nepal have already ratified the agreement, Bhutan is in the process of addressing internal procedures before ratifying it," Tobgay said.
The vice-consul said, "Bhutan is small not just in terms of size, but in population and number of vehicles." He said BBIN MVA would enhance regional connectivity and economic development and "We approach a holistic way taking various constraints but we are positive about joining the other three after attending to these internal procedures." He was addressing the "Young Thinkers Conference - BBIN : Challenges & Opportunities" organised by the British Deputy High Commission and the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank.
British Deputy High Commissioner Bruce Bucknell said, BBIN MVA is themed on regional cooperation and integration.
Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner Toufique Hasan, Consul general of Nepal Sita Basnet and Napal Banking Institute CEO Sanjib Subba also attended the seminar.
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