KATHMANDU: Nepal is planning to seek zero tariff facility with Bangladesh during the talks between the two countries going to be held next month. Nepal has proposed May 21-22 for the bilateral trade talks in Kathmandu.
“We have sent formal request to organise the meeting on May 21-22,” said joint secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya. “But Dhaka has not confirmed yet.”
The secretary level trade talks will finalise the transit agreement between the two South Asian countries, he added. “The bilateral trade between the two countries is far below the potential and with the transit agreement, it is expected to increase.”
Though, the ministry has prepared some agendas on transport facility, it has not mentioned any issue related to tariff. “According to the revised Trade Agreement of 2009 between Nepal and India, Nepal cannot provide similar tariff facility to third country therefore we have not included any tariff agendas for the next meeting,” he said. However, Bangladesh is keen to see Nepal use Mongla and Chittagong ports for international trade. Bangladesh had already offered Nepal and Bhutan the access to Mongla and Chittagong ports. Opening up the two ports to Nepal will not only bolster bilateral trade but also could hugely enhance Nepal’s exports beyond the regions. Currently, Nepal is using Fulbari-Banglabanda transit route.
During the 17th SAARC summit in Maldives last year, Bangladesh had also showed interest to import 1,000 MW electricity from Saptakoshi high dam project to meet its ever increasing power demand.