BBIN Sub-Regional Cooperation: An Imperative for Bolstering Bangladesh-India Ties


Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN) is a subregional grouping comprised of countries of South Asia. It meets in the presence of member states’ official representatives to design, implement, and review quadrilateral agreements in areas like water resource management, connectivity of energy, transportation, and infrastructure. Ambitious proposals to integrate South Asia through connected road and rail networks were unable to be signed at the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu in November 2014 due to Pakistan’s unwillingness. This, however, was a significant setback for the economic development of landlocked countries such as Bhutan and Nepal. This served as one of the motivating factors for the relatively fast-track negotiations for a sub-regional economic cooperation agreement involving the BBIN countries. As a result, BBIN began with the signing of a Motor Vehicle Agreement between the nations. This multi-model accord was reached on 15 June 2015 in Thimphu, Bhutan. Bhutan, however, withdrew from the arrangement in 2017 due to environmental concerns. [Read the full Policy Brief from here.]