Bangladesh keen on air connectivity with Bagdogra to boost tourism, trade

- A Monitor Report 27 Jun, 2018 | 3858 Views|-+
Darjeeling: Bangladesh government is eager to establish air connectivity to Bagdogra for improving trade and tourism with North Bengal (West Bengal), Nepal and Bhutan.

Bangladesh high commissioner in India, Syed Muazzem Ali shared views with journalists of Darjeeling Press Club.

The diplomat said that Sheikh Hasina government was in favour of flight services to Bagdogra and a visa facility at Siliguri, West Bengal.

“Not only will this improve trade ties between Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan, it will provide people of this region better access to Bangladesh and the rest of southeast Asia,” he said.

He lamented that a Bangladeshis have to travel to Kolkata and then to Bagdogra or New Jalpaiguri to visit Darjeeling, Shikkim, Kanchenjunga, etc. Indians residing in north Bengal need to travel to Kolkata to apply for a Bangladesh visa. Once a visa facility is available in Siliguri, travel documents can be processed quickly. Currently, the only international flight operating at Bagdogra is a Bhutan Airlines flight.

The envoy also said his government was planning to spread wings to Guwahati by mid-next year to boost trade relations with northeast India. The proposal for flights to Siliguri will be pursued thereafter.

According to the recent Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement (BBINMVA), there will be dramatically increase truck movement between the neighbouring countries.

Bangladesh is eager to facilitate trade and commerce, the exporters and importers needs improved connectivity with Siliguri and Darjeeling, and air connectivity to the region should be explored. The authorities held parleys with the Bangladesh private carriers and they are exploring the commercial viability of flights to Bagdogra, the envoy said.

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