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India Proposes A SAARC Freight Train Network

Posted: December 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (2)

India has proposed to run an intra-region freight train network from Pakistan through India via Nepal to Bangladesh. The proposed fright train network would link  the famous port of Chittagong Port in Bangladesh all the way to the Pakistani City of Lahore.

Traditionally trade and diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan has been rocky but  in recent times, both countries have been seen to increase  corporation in trade and anti- terror talks. If a fright train network is built , it could be a huge stepping stone for the SAARC regional trade integration. In January 2004 SAFTA the SAARC trade agreement was signed by the member countries to work towards a trading block much like the tariff free agreements among the EU.

A rough estimate  of intra-regional trade for the SAARC countries exceed $ 700 billion and SAFTA together with a smoother freight network would dramatically further increase  regional trade while reduce costs and barriers to trade and invest within the region. India has also is rumored to have had talks about drawing up plans to  make a block on Crude Oil purchases, which some economists believe would give the SAARC member states more bargaining power in Oil purchase negotiations.

A more integrated SAARC would be beneficial to all the members states India,Pakistan,Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan,Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan promoting faster economic growth and democratic values.

Comments (2)

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  • September 25, 2015 at 5:24 am yasheen

    It will be fabulous start of developing economy between SAARC countries.

  • January 12, 2016 at 10:23 pm Naveed

    Its a good step, but I would still say we southasians, are very slow to act. I would say there need to be some regular meetings with some economic and integration targets, and these meeting should replace all the traditional yearly meaningless meetings. I think EU and US are examples, and ASEAN to follow. With the current pace we lose more time, we need to decide and act faster.