Nepal, India agree to review trade treaty

Kathmandu, September 28

Nepal and India have agreed to review the bilateral trade treaty.

During the two-day commerce joint secretary level-talks that ended yesterday, both sides agreed to review issues related to bilateral trade and commerce.

Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Yadav informed that both the nations have agreed to take steps, such as comprehensive review of the existing bilateral trade treaty, to further boost two-way commerce.

“The bilateral talks focused on enhanced cooperation to stop unauthorised trade in both nations,” Minister Yadav said.

It was the third time that the related officials of the two countries had held discussions on the groundwork and other provisions to review the trade treaty.

The nine-member committee that was led by Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Nabaraj Dhakal and comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Customs and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, among others, had left for New Delhi on Thursday.

Earlier, officials of both the nations had held two meetings on reviewing the bilateral trade treaty in New Delhi on August 9 last year and in Pokhara on February 7 and 8.

The ministry has informed that officials also discussed on possible ways to address Nepal’s ballooning trade deficit with India and introduce and amend provisions in the trade treaty to ease bilateral trade. Meanwhile, it has been agreed upon to include possible concerns raised by both Nepal and India in the revised treaty.

“The Indian government has agreed to address our concerns related to simplifying our trade with the southern neighbour by addressing both tariff and non-tariff barriers,” Minister Yadav said, adding that, however, he would only be disclose the details of the agreement after the negotiating team submits its

report to him.

Likewise, the meeting was also positive on addressing Nepal’s agenda to drop the zero-tariff facility on Indian agricultural goods and some other primary products.

On February 8, both the countries had agreed to declare inland waterways as ‘trade route’ in Nepal-India Trade Treaty.