India and Bhutan signed a new bilateral trade agreement on Saturday to enhance trade between the two countries through trade facilitation by improving procedures, an official statement said. “The bilateral agreement aims at cutting down on documentation and adding additional exit and entry points for Bhutan’s trade with other countries. It is also expected to further strengthen the excellent relations between the two countries,” Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
The agreement was signed by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and H.E. Tengye Lyonpo Lekey Dorji, Minister for Economic Affairs, Bhutan. Sitharaman also had a bilateral meeting with a high level Bhutanese delegation led by Dorji where both the leaders discussed various issues related to bilateral trade, transit and investment.
The first agreement on trade and commerce between Bhutan and India was signed in 1972. Since then, the agreement has been renewed four times. The last agreement was renewed on July 28, 2006 and was valid till July 29, 2016. The validity of the agreement was extended for a period of one year or till the date of coming into force of the new agreement, whichever is earlier, by exchange of diplomatic notes between the two countries.