Mar 02, 2010 – Nepal, Bangladesh trade talk by March-end – Himalayan Times

The commerce secretaries of Bangladesh and Nepal will hold a two-day meeting in Dhaka on March 30 to facilitate bilateral trade and establish connectivity between the two countries under a proposed transit deal. The meeting will focus on further integration in sub-regional perspectives and mutual recognition of each other’s testing and standardisation certificates, according to experts. Officials at Bangladesh’s Ministry of Commerce (MoC) said the commerce secretaries of the two countries are expected to devise a strategy for the implementation of relevant clauses of the joint communiqué, signed by the premiers of India and Bangladesh at New Delhi in January.

A joint communiqué, co-signed by Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina has assured of giving Nepal and Bhutan access to Mongla and Chittagong ports. The prime ministers — in the joint communiqué — also agreed that Rohanpur-Singabad broad gauge railway link would be available for transit to Nepal. “The upcoming secretary level meeting between Dhaka and Kathmandu will pave the way for implementation of commitments made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her recent visit to New Delhi to boost the sub-regional integration on both trade and connectivity fronts,” the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce said. Besides, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries on mutual recognition of standardisation is likely to be inked at the meeting. The trade talks to be held between the countries will also focus on problems relating to loading and unloading of goods at zero point of the border. At present, Nepali trucks cannot enter Bangladesh and they need to load/unload at zero point of the border. Most of the traded goods of Nepal are carried via Banglabandha land port. Due to lack of such agreement, Nepali trucks cannot reach the warehouses of the land port. They wait on no man’s land for Bangladeshi trucks to come for re-loading, which increases the cost of business. The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is very low, less than $60 million a year.

Bangladesh exported goods worth $6.70 million to Nepal in 2008-2009.


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