Birgunj, January 3:

Bilateral trade between India and Nepal via Birgunj transit point has increased significantly. Within the first five months of current fiscal year, export to India increased by 43 per cent and import by 24 per cent from Birgunj custom point. Birgunj custom office said that exports of iron pipes has increased significantly leading to increase in trade as a whole.

Goods worth Rs 5.62 billion was exported to India by mid-December of previous fiscal year whereas goods worth of Rs 8.31 billion has been exported to India within the same period during this fiscal year. Mostly, iron pipes, toothpaste, juice, Van-aspati ghee and noodles are exported to India through Birgunj transit point.

Similarly, within the first five months of the previous fiscal year, goods worth Rs 19.64 billion was imported while within the same period of this fiscal year, goods worth of Rs 24.41 billion has been imported, chief of Birgunj custom, Dhruba Raj Pant said. According to the experts, trade with India increased due to improvement in the export of iron pipes (black pipes) to India. They, however, added that trade with India may decrease by the end of current fiscal year.

“However, export of iron pipes has declined in the recent past because of the increase in the prices of raw materials last year. This has also decreased trade during last fiscal year,” one official at Nepal Rastra Bank told The Himalayan Times.

Export worth of Rs 2.78 billion was carried out with third countries. However, within the trade review period, a decrease of almost Rs 1 billion has been seen, limiting exports to Rs 1.72 billion only. There has been significant decrease in major export goods such as readymade clothes and carpets.

Similarly, goods worth of Rs 13.85 billion was imported from third countries during the last fiscal, whereas a decrease of almost Rs 2 billion has been noted in imp-orts during this fiscal year. Within mid-December, go-o-ds worth of Rs 11.88 billion has been imported this fiscal.