New Delhi [India], July 17 (ANI): The first trial movement of a container ship carrying steel and pulses from Kolkata to Agartala through Chattogram Port of Bangladesh was flagged off on Thursday.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that India and Bangladesh took another significant step towards further enhancing connectivity and economic cooperation with the commencement of first trial movement of containers.
"With the commencement of first trial movement of containers from Kolkata to Agartala via Chattogram today, India and Bangladesh took another significant step towards further enhancing connectivity and economic cooperation," Srivastava tweeted.
The ship was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya, through a virtual ceremony.
This has been done under the Agreement on use of Chattogram and Mongla Ports for movement of India's transit cargo through Bangladesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Mansukh Mandaviya said that the route will open doors of new opportunities for both the countries.
Mandaviya said that this is a historic move to utilize Chattogram and Mongla Port for movement of India's transit cargo. It will be a new chapter in India-Bangladesh maritime relations, he added.
"The consignment of the trial movement includes two TEUs carrying TMT steel bars destined for West Tripura district and two TEUs carrying pulses destined for Karimganj, Assam. After reaching Chattogram, the consignment will move to Agartala on Bangladeshi trucks," the MEA statement read.
The standard operating procedure (SOP) on use of Chittagong and Mongla ports of Bangladesh was finalized in 2019.
"The trial runs to highlight the efforts that both sides have undertaken to strengthen the connectivity between Bangladesh and the North-Eastern states of India," the statement read.
"It will reduce distance and time taken in the transportation of goods for India and is a win-win for both the economies. Job creation, investment in the logistical sector, enhanced business services and revenue generation are advantages that will accrue to Bangladesh," it added.
India and Bangladesh have enhanced cooperation in shipping and inland water trade in recent years. Under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, in addition to the six existing Ports of Call, five more in each country have been added recently, the MEA said. (ANI)