A Nepal-India Trade Treaty review meeting between the commerce joint secretaries of the two countries is set to kick off in Pokhara from Thursday.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) has already prepared the draft of agendas to be presented at the meeting. The finalised agendas were briefed to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today.
At the two-day long meeting, Nepal will be basically raising two main agendas — possible ways to reduce the trade deficit gap between Nepal and India, and ways to increase the penetration of Nepali products in India.
“Nepal’s trade deficit, especially with India, is constantly widening while our products are finding it difficult in finding proper space in the Indian market. We plan to discuss in detail on how to address these issues through the bilateral trade treaty,” informed Ravi Shankar Saiju, joint secretary at MoICS.
Nepal is expected to request the southern neighbour for preferential treatment for export of agricultural products and integration of Nepali manufacturing units to its value chain at the meeting.
As discussed with the Indian authority earlier, Nepal is also expected to ask the Indian authority to review the preference erosion and reciprocity in export and import of agricultural goods and some manufacturing products in the Nepal-India Trade Treaty.
Similarly, though the Nepal-India Trade Treaty has ensured zero-tariff export facility to different Nepali products, Indian authorities have been imposing various additional taxes on Nepali goods going against the treaty. MoICS is also expected to raise this issue at the meeting.
Furthermore, the meeting will also dwell on possible ways to address different non-tariff barriers in Nepal-India trade.
Along with this, Nepal will also raise the issue regarding the enhancement of Nepal-India connectivitythrough railway, waterway and roadway, as per Saiju.
A version of this article appears in print on February 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.