Commerce minister seeks ease in export of Nepali products to India

Kathmandu, January 28

Commerce Minister Romi Gauchan Thakali has asked the commerce minister of India to facilitate export of Nepali products to the southern neighbour.

On the sidelines of two-day Partnership Summit 2017 that concluded in Visakhapatnam today, Minister Thakali held a bilateral meeting with Nirmala Sitharaman, minister of state for commerce and industry of India, as per a media release issued by commerce ministry. During the meeting, a wide range of issues of mutual interest related to trade and transit was discussed.

Minister Thakali especially requested his counterpart for the removal of countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty on Nepali jute products, removal of additional duties and charges on some Nepali export items to India, simplification of rules of origin, expediting letter of exchange on revision of Railway Service Agreement and removing services tax levied on transit cargo destined to Nepal from outside India.

During the talk, Sitharaman raised concerns regarding the unfair trade practices, the release says. She also raised the issue of harmonisation of standard of Nepali goods and services that are exported to India. In response, Minister Thakali assured to provide responses promptly from the side of government of Nepal.

Minister Thakali had addressed a plenary session of the summit on the thematic area 'Towards Achieving Sustained Economic Growth: Can Developing Countries Lead?'.  While addressing the plenary session, he stressed that Asia would be leading the global economy in near future with sustained economic and trade growth. He further argued that the development of hydro-energy, agriculture sector and aromatic plants would be very critical in sustainable economic growth of Nepal as well as other countries of the region, as it will reduce use of fossil fuels which ultimately causes environmental degradation.

Speaking in the plenary he also mentioned that Nepal is not only land-linked but could also be a transit hub for enhancing connectivity between North and South Asian countries, the release says.

On the sidelines of the summit, Minister Thakali also held bilateral meetings with Minister for Commerce of Bangladesh Tofail Ahmed and Stepan Kubiv, first vice prime minister of Ukraine, during which various areas of trade and related issues were discussed.