Media, NRB discuss

KATHMANDU: Nepal Ratsra Bank (NRB) held interaction with the media on Sunday. “Media is an effective tool to help make the central bank’s works evaluate,” NRB acting governor Krishna Bahadur Manandhar, said, adding that the economic journalists should always give feed back to the central bank’s performance. Keshav Prasad Acharya, executive director, also highlighted the role of economic journalists, on the occasion. — HNS

Rs 4.94b trade deficit

BIRATNAGAR: Nepal suffered a trade deficit of Rs 4.94 billion from the eastern region during the first half of the current fiscal year. Businessmen attributed the loss to double tax at customs, load-shedding, price hike and shortage of petroleum products, fall in the quality of products and regular strikes. While goods worth Rs 1.859 billion were exported from the eastern customs, the import was a whopping Rs 6.799 billion, according to Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Biratnagar. — RSS

ECB to hold rates

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank should hold firm on interest rates when governors meet here on Thursday, with record inflation a greater concern than slowing economic activity. A large majority of analysts expect the ECB to leave its main lending rate at four per cent, despite aggressive rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve that have pushed the euro higher against the dollar. — AFP

NZealand, China FTA

BEIJING: New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark arrived in Beijing on Sunday on an official visit during which she will sign a free trade agreement (FTA). The FTA — the first ever between China and a developed country — will be concluded during the visit which ends on Tuesday following talks between Clark and China’s premier Wen Jiabao on a range of issues of ‘common concern’. — AFP