Bangladeshi delegation visits India to explore transhipment potential at East Coast ports

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (PTI) A 13-member delegation from Bangladesh is visiting India to assess the possibilities of transhipment of Exim cargo of Bangladesh through Indian ports located on the East Coast, an official statement said on Thursday.

The delegation’s visit (July 9-12) to ports in Chennai, Krishnapatnam, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata and Haldia - is in line with agreed minutes of India-Bangladesh Shipping Secretaries Level Talks (SSLT) held in Dhaka in December last year.

The statement said the objective of the Bangladeshi delegation’s visit is to gain first-hand knowledge of technical feasibility, commercial viability and infrastructure facilities at Indian ports to assess their potential for the transhipment of Bangladeshi cargo.

Officials from the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the Ministry of Ports and Shipping & Waterways, Director General of Shipping and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs accompanied the visiting delegation, it added.

The delegation discussed the possibility of starting river cruise services between Dhaka and Vishakhapatnam.

Director (Traffic) IWAI, A K Bansal informed the delegates that cruise service already exists on the IBP route & it can further be extended on coastal routes from Bangladesh to Vishakhapatnam and other ports on the East Coast as the MoU and Protocol to the MOU for passengers and cruise on Protocol and IBP route already exists.

"The probability of returning cargo from Bangladesh to Haldia/Kolkata using inland vessels on the IBP route was also discussed during the delegation’s visit to IWAI Multi-Modal Terminal at Haldia in West Bengal," the statement said.

The Bangladeshi delegation identified several bottlenecks in Exim trade using Indian ports.

The Indian side agreed to provide comprehensive data analysis and comparisons, demonstrating the benefits for Bangladeshi exporters and importers in using Indian ports over existing transhipment ports like Colombo, Singapore, and Port Klang. The head of the Bangladeshi delegation assured that a stakeholders meeting would be held in Dhaka to review the data, analysis, and comparisons from India, it added. PTI BKS BKS MR

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