India, Nepal, Bhutan, B’desh OK power trade

The third meeting of the Joint Working Groups on Sub-regional Cooperation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) on water resources management and power/hydropower, and on connectivity and transit were held in Dhaka, deciding to collaborate on power trade.

The working groups carried forward earlier discussions on the scope for power trade and inter-grid connectivity cooperation in future power projects and water resource management between the four countries.
“Specific hydropower projects under the BBIN framework that could be concretised on equitable basis were discussed,” Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

India was the first country that took initiatives for the BBIN and started discussion over sub-regional themes like water resources and connectivity.

It was decided that an experts’ group would be constituted for exchanging best practices in water resources management and on the specifics of the identified projects, power trade, inter-grid connectivity, flood forecasting and other areas of possible cooperation.

The working group on connectivity and transit reviewed progress under the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement and made recommendations relevant to this process. The meeting also agreed to commence discussion on the possibility of having a BBIN Rail Agreement drawing on the draft Saarc Regional Rail Agreement template.

According to the statement, it was also agreed that land ports/land customs stations crucial for sub-regional trade and transit would be given priority attention by all the four countries. The next meeting of the JWGs would be held in the second half of 2016 in India. The meeting was attended by the foreign joint-secretaries of the BBIN countries.

Source: The Kathamndu Post