India, Nepal set to resume trade talks
August 23, 2006
NEW DELHI, AUG 22: After a gap of almost two years, India and Nepal are all set to resume trade talks. Commerce secretaries from both the sides will meet in New Delhi on August 24 and 25 for consultations and to review bilateral trade, investment, infrastructure and transit issues.
While, the Indian side will be led by SN Menon, the 15-member Nepalese team will be led by secretary of the ministry of industry, commerce and supplies Bharat Bahadur Thapa.
Sources said, “Nepal would for the first time pledge its readiness to serve as a transit country for Indo-China trade.”
According to Nepal embassy officials, “the inter-governmental committee meeting which is supposed to be held every six months in accordance with the bilateral agreement is taking place after 31 months due to the political stalemate that occurred in Nepal”.
Senior officials of the two countries have already started a review meeting on bilateral trade treaty, where they assessed the impact of the Nepal-India Trade Treaty 2002 and discussed renewal of the treaty, set to expire on March 5, 2007.
Nepal will mainly raise the issue of non-tariff barriers and procedural complexities that have been hindering their exports, sources said.
Even though India has committed to set up quarantine check posts and food testing laboratories in border towns, it has not been implemented.
Likewise, the Nepali side would ask India to allow Nepali transporters to move up to Banglabandh in order to facilitate Nepal’s trade with Bangladesh.
Nepal proposes to include readymade, aluminum goods and marble in the list of goods for waiver of 4% of additional tax while exporting those goods to India.