India and Bhutan open new trade route to boost trade

WION NEW DELHI Jul 16, 2020, 08.52 AM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

Calling it a "step forward", Indian Envoy to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj said," it will facilitate connectivities between our two countries in these COVID 19 times, further strengthening our special relationship."

With an aim to increase trade and connectivity, India and Bhutan on Wednesday opened a new land trade route. The trade route will link West Bengal's Jaigaon with Ahlay, Pasakha in Bhutan.

Calling it a "step forward", Indian Envoy to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj said," it will facilitate connectivities between our two countries in these COVID 19 times, further strengthening our special relationship."

Land Customs station has been opened at Ahllay, Pasakha by the Indian govt at the request of Bhutanese government as part of the new land route.

Indian envoy said,"Bhutan is India’s closest partner and friend and given the excellent bilateral relationship between our two countries and keeping in view as well the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, this access to Ahllay should further facilitate trade and commerce between our two countries.”

The new route for Pasakha Industrial Estate in Bhutan will decongest vehicular traffic along the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route and boost bilateral trade & commerce. It is especially beneficial for movement of heavy vehicles like trucks and industrial raw materials from India into Bhutan.

India is Bhutan's largest trading partner. The bilateral trade stood at Rs 9227 crores in 2018. Bhutan imports mineral products, machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipments, base metals, vehicles, vegetable products, plastics and articles from India. The country exports to India electricity, portland cement, dolomite, timber and wood products, potatoes, cardamom and fruit products.