BB Boss Backs Transit For Neighbours
Thursday, 09 July 2009

Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman said Tuesday that transit facilities through Bangladesh should be available to neighbouring countries for the sake of business and trade.

"Transit issues have long been a subject of debate, but I think the issue should be looked at from a business and economic point of view rather than a political one," Atiur said at the close of a two-day seminar on regional integration.

Debate on this issue should not stall because of security concerns, he said.

"We must consider investment and commerce. The issue can be looked at positively if our economy benefits by providing transit facilities to our neighbours," he said.

Transit rights through Bangladesh, for India in particular, have remained a contentious issue since restoration in 1972 of a bilateral trade and transit protocol, which was suspended by the Pakistan authorities following the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.

Although the protocol has been renewed by both parties every two years since 1972, the two countries have not come to an agreement to date regarding the section on road and rail transit for India through Bangladesh.

The South Asian Network on Economic Modelling and the UK's Commonwealth Secretariat, organised the two-day conference, titled 'Managing Regional Integration in South Asia', at the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.


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