Duty-free access for Nepali products sought

Kathmandu, August 16

Domestic traders have sought duty-free access for various Nepali products in Chinese market to boost Nepali exports to the northern neighbour.

At a meeting with Vice-Premier of China Wang Yang today, officials of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) said Nepal’s export to China is declining due to various tariff and non-tariff barriers.

“An effective way to increase Nepal’s trade with China could be by allowing duty-free access for Nepali products with export potential to the northern neighbour,” said FNCCI President Bhawani Rana.

Stating that the support from China is instrumental to enhance Nepal’s economic growth, traders also urged Vice-Premier Yang to promote Chinese investment in Nepal, enhance productive capacity and create different economic opportunities in Nepal.

“Nepal hopes to receive an increased flow of investment and technology transfer from China to spur our economic growth as offshore investment of China has been increasingly significantly in recent years.”

Traders affiliated to CNI and NCC stressed on need to encourage large-scale Chinese investments in Nepal in sectors like hydro and tourism.

On the occasion, traders also said that the Belt and Road initiative, of which Nepal is also a signatory, will help Nepal boost its connectivity with China and also address the infrastructure gap.

Addressing the meeting, Vice-Premier Yang said that the Chinese government will do its best to further strengthen economic and bilateral ties. “We’re committed to enhance economic cooperation with Nepal for mutual benefit.”