Intra-regional travel in SAARC

Four of the eight countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan are moving closer to a deal in promoting intra-regional travel.

The four nations are close to signing a deal allowing cross-border movement of motor vehicles.

The positive move will allow movement of vehicles through their borders just like in European countries. The deal will also allow vehicles to ply on designated routes within the four member countries. The countries have drawn up a draft plan for transit of passengers, cargo and personal vehicles.

The move, apart from boosting trade and tourism, will also enhance people-to-people contact and enrich knowledge of cultural heritage of the countries. It also will reduce cost and time of unloading and loading of people and goods at border points, making cross border trade more efficient.

India, Bhutan and Nepal have accepted a Bangladeshi recommendation to keep the membership of the sub-regional group open so that neighbouring countries like Myanmar and China can connect to the region if they wish.

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