Tura, Oct 7: The BIBN (Bhutan India Bangladesh Nepal) Friendship Car Rally 2023 was flagged off by Rakesh Sangma, GHADC MDC, from Polo Orchid Resort, Nazing Bazar in Tura on Saturday morning as the rally headed towards Dhaka in Bangladesh.
The convoy had reached Tura on Friday evening and on Saturday they would cross over to Bangladesh via Dalu gate and will attempt to reach Dhaka by afternoon.
The Rally is also supported by TMSC (Tura Motor Sports Club). Tura Traffic Police escorted the vehicles through the town.
The rally has been organized by the North East Federation on International Trade (NEFIT), which provides content, direction and thrust to the North East’s gradually expanding international trade especially with neighbouring countries of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, ASEAN and China.
The objective of the “BIBN Friendship Car Rally” 2023 is to reboot economic activities with neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, starting from Guwahati in Assam and ending at Guwahati in Assam moving via Dhaka, Thimphu and Kathmandu.
The 12-day rally was flagged-off on September 28, 2023 from Nehru Stadium, Guwahati and the flag-down ceremony is to be held on October 9, 2023 at Guwahati. The rally proceeded to Gelephu, Bhutan from Guwahati via the Gelephu – Dadgari Border on the India-Bhutan border in the state of Assam on September 28, 2023 and further proceeded to Thimphu the next day. The Car Rally re-entered India via the Phuentsholing – Jaigoan Border and proceeded to the town of Siliguri in the state of West Bengal on September 30, 2023. The rally then proceeded to Kathmandu, Nepal via the Panitanki – Kakarbitta Border on the India-Nepal border in the state of West Bengal on October 1, 2023 and returned back via the same route and re-entered India on October 5, 2023 and proceeded to Tura on October 6, 2023. The Car Rally entered Bangladesh via the Dalu-Nakugaon Land Port on the India – Bangladesh border in the state of Meghalaya on October 7, 2023 and proceeded towards Dhaka. The Car Rall will proceed to SyIhet on October 8, 2023 and re-enter India via the Tamabil-Dawki Land Port on October 9, 2023 and proceed to Guwahati for the Flag down Ceremony.
The rally has also been launched keeping in mind the “75th Year of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
Giving more insights into the rally, Ravi Agarwal, the Technical Partner – World on Wheels (WOW), told Hub News, “This is the BIBN friendship car rally organised by the Northeast federation on international trade (NEFIT). It was formed in 2002; they look after all the land ports for the Northeast Region. NEFIT is one of the organizations which has been given the right to issue certificate of origin (non preferential) by Govt. of India for the NE region. NEFIT had previously done 3 car rallies to ASEAN countries, where we have gone to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and all.”
With the theme of the rally being ‘connecting the neighbours’, they wanted northeast India to connect with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh because of the region’s strategic location.
While talking to the median persons, Mrinal Hatkhowa, General Secy, North East Federation on International Trade (NEFIT), said, “This time we are promoting this event in connection with the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav promoted by our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.”
“We have already conducted 3 ASEAN car rallies in the year 2012, 2016 and 2018. So, this time we are looking forward to have a good relationship with our neighbours. In the near future we will have more events like this to promote our culture, our trade and our tourism,” he further said and shared that another rally is being planned in near future to connect to China and Myanmar as well.
“We are in connection with China for holding a rally for BCIM like Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar. We have many projects in our hand in the near future,” he said.
Meanwhile, NEFIT has signed a MOU with its counterpart in Nepal, that is, the Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry. MOU has also been signed with the IBCCI (India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in Dhaka and also with Sylhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Further, already talks are going on with the Chamber of Commerce in Bhutan. MOU has been sent to the ministries and will be signed shortly. The MoUs are expected to bolster trade ties, cultural exchange and people to people contact between Northeast India and the neighbouring countries.
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