India, Nepal officials to discuss bilateral issues to reduce trade deficit

Kathmandu: High-ranking government officials from Nepal and India are set to meet in Pokhara from February 8 to discuss various aspects of the bilateral trade issues between Kathmandu and New Delhi, mainly the huge trade deficit.

“The meeting will explore the ways to reduce the huge trade deficit between the two countries, discussing whether to amend the bilateral treaties as per the need of the time or deal the issues through a new way,” the state news agency RSS quoted Rabi Shanker Sainju, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, as saying.

The meeting is expected to recommend amendments to the Nepal-India Trade Treaty 1990. Joint Secretary Sainju is leading a nine-member delegation to the meeting and his Indian counterpart Bhupinder Bhalla is heading the seven-member Indian team, the report has stated.

The meeting assumes significance as Nepal is experiencing a ballooning trade deficit with its southern neighbour.

Officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Departments of Customs and Commerce will be taking part in the meeting.