Three pacts signed between Indian, Thailand ports; to cut sea travel time

Nishikant Dwivedi

Visakhapatnam, Nov 7 (PTI) Three agreements have been signed between Ranong Port (Thailand) and port trusts of Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata, with an aim to reduce sea travel time between the two countries to more than a half.

The memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed during the two-day BIMSTEC conclave of ports which concluded here on Thursday. It was the first such conclave.

The MoUs will contribute to BIMSTEC objective of strengthening connectivity and is part of India's Act East Policy, said an official release.

'These MoUs will enhance economic partnership by cutting down the sea travel time between India and Thailand from 10-15 days to seven days,' it added.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) links five countries from South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka) and two from South-East Asia (Myanmar and Thailand).

The BIMSTEC region brings together 1.67 billion people or 22 per cent of the world's population and a combined gross domestic product of USD 3.71 trillion.

While inaugurating the conclave, Union Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) Mansukh Mandaviya said India was keen on forging deep relations with BIMSTEC member countries. PTI NKD CS HRS