Kathmandu, May 10

The commerce secretary-level talks between Nepal and Bangladesh started in Dhaka from today to endorse the agreements on preferential market access for the products of each other’s country and to finalise some critical trade facilitation measures.

A nine-member Nepali delegation led by Commerce Secretary Naindra Prasad Upadhyay is holding talks with the team led by his Bangladeshi counterpart Hedayetullah Al Mamoon.

Implementation of preferential market access facility agreed by both countries and reduction of non-tariff measures to boost trade relations between the two countries are on the agenda of the commerce secretary-level talks.

Nepal and Bangladesh, during the joint secretary-level talks, had agreed to provide preferential market access for some products.

Nepal agreed to provide preferential market access to 50 products for Bangladeshi exporters. Similarly, Bangladesh pledged duty-free access to 108 Nepali products.

Issues related to quarantine and facilitating cargo movement and simplification of immigration rules and linking the two countries through bus service have also been prioritised as important agenda of the meeting.

Both the countries have discussed about providing recognition to the quality certificates of products issued by laboratories in each other’s country to reduce quarantine-related hurdles.

During the joint secretary-level talks, both countries had principally agreed to set similar standards to deal with sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

As Bangladesh has agreed to extend on-arrival visa in Burimari and Banglabandha for Nepali tourists travelling through land routes via India, Nepal will also seek facilitation on immigration issues.

To increase the flow of tourists and expand trade volume, both the countries have been discussing on foreign exchange facility, a senior commerce ministry official told The Himalayan Times.

Both the countries have been planning to sign an agreement to conduct bus service from Kathmandu to Dhaka and vice-versa.

For easy movement of Bangladeshi tourists to Nepal, both the countries have agreed to request India to provide transit visa for Bangladeshi tourists coming to Nepal at Phulbari of India.

The talks will conclude tomorrow with signing of agreements on various aforementioned points.