Proper use of trade treaty sought

Kathmandu, September 14 :

Government and private sector experts have expressed the views that the trade treaty signed between Nepal and India should be effectively used for both countries’ trade and economic enhancement.

They expressed this views at a programme in the capital following the recently concluded inter-government committee meet in New Delhi that discussed at length issues related to emerging trade, investment and economic cooperation between the two countries and the trade treaty on the need to effectively use economic cooperation being extended by India for broader economic prosperity in Nepal, says a Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) press statement issued here today.

Speaking at the gathering of trade related persons, industry secretary at the ministry of industry, commerce and supplies Bharat Bahadur Thapa reiterated that economic cooperation agreement should be beneficial for both countries for which we need to work out the details.

Thapa said that bilateral trade between India and Nepal should be beneficial for lifting poor Nepali people out of poverty. Trade should be translated into a tool to reduce the poverty level of people for which we need to focus our work and increase economic activities, said Thapa.

Surendra Bir Malakar, president of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), stressed on automatic renewal of the forthcoming trade treaty with India, which is expiring on March 5, 2007.

He said that bilateral trade and economic issues agreed at IGC meeting such as removal of non-tariff barriers, infrastructure development at the border customs points, railway operation strengthening and removal of additional four per cent additional duty reduction are noteworthy.

Malakar said that many Nepali products still attract non-tariff barriers that has affected our export market. He also asked for increment in quota of products.

At the same meeting, the joint secretary at MOICS, Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya expressed the hope that trade treaty with India would be renewed automatically.

He said that to effectively utilize the forthcoming trade treaty, the private sector has to also give inputs to the government.

He also informed that the recent IGC meeting in Delhi held between Nepal and India has agreed to remove four per cent additional duty on Nepali products, the removal of non-tariff barriers and infrastructure development.

An agreement has also been done to remove five per cent agricultural development fee imposed by the Nepal government on Indian goods, informed Upadhyaya.

Similarly, Nepal expressed its readiness to be a transit point and the Indian side has also agreed to accept Nepali certification standards.

Dr Pushkar Bajracharya, economist stressed that Nepal has to do proper homework for better

future. He also called on all concerned stakeholders to diversify trade and not depend merely on the Indian market.

The potential areas for bilateral investment and cooperation can be agro-forestry, tourism, hydropower and service sectors.