‘India needs relaxed cabotage laws, free port for better maritime connectivity’

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Kolkata, March 27 (IANS) India needs to develop its internal logistics, relax cabotage laws (right to operate transport services) with its neighbours along the Bay of Bengal and create a free port in the Andaman and Nicobar islands to improve its connectivity with other littoral countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, says researchers.

“India must develop its internal logistics performance index to better understand the country’s actual situation in trade logistics and focus on the development of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to its true economic and strategic potential,” said a report released by Observer Research Foundation here on the importance of the Bay of Bengal in India’s maritime connectivity.

India should also sign coastal shipping agreements with the Bay littoral countries to relax cabotage laws and focus on developing a free port in the Andamans for better trade opportunities, it said.

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The report also recommends increasing imports from Bangladesh, owning a container terminal in Sri Lanka and operationalisation of the Sittwe port in Myanmar’s Kaladan river to speed up India’s connectivity with these countries.

It said sub regional organisations should create a shared security infrastructure with collaborative Humanitarian Assistance and form a Disaster Management brigade under the umbrella of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

–IANS

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