Nepal, Bangladesh to discuss trade barriers

Kathmandu: At the fourth commerce secretary-level trade talks, which is scheduled to commence on May 30, Nepal and Bangladesh are to discuss trade facilitation and elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Nepal plans to ask Bangladesh to address hurdles to exporting acrylic yarn to Bangladesh. Harmonising sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and reviewing the list of 108 Nepali products, that have duty free access to the Bangladesh market, will also be a part of the discussion, as per Kathmandu Post.

An eleven-member Bangladeshi delegation would be arriving in Kathmandu to participate in the two-day meeting.

Nepal’s Ministry spokesperson Rabi Shankar Sainju said, the main focus of the discussions would be solving trade-transit related issues, as they are the main hurdles to boosting trade between the two countries.

In 2008, the two countries agreed to hold annual trade talks at the secretary level.

After the opening of Kakarbhitta-Phulbari-Banglabandha transit route in 1997, Bangladesh had permitted Nepal to use the port facilities in Mongla. Bangladesh also provided an additional rail transit corridor to Nepal via Rohonpur-Sighbad.

But the Nepali exporters still face hindrances while exporting goods to India and third countries including Bangladesh.

Nepal has been asking Bangladesh to ease visa facility for long now.

In 2013, during the last trade talks between the two sides, Bangladesh agreed to grant duty-free access for 108 Nepali items. However, no major exportable items were included in the list.

Bangladeshis too have similar demands from Nepalis for 64 of their goods.

Nepal will urge Bangladesh to allow unrestricted entry for traders. (ANI)