Nepal is planning to sign a trade treaty with Bhutan soon.

Addressing the annual general meeting of Lalitpur Chamber of Commerce here today, minister for commerce and supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa informed that the government is planning to sign a trade treaty with Bhutan to promote bilateral trade.

“Though Bhutan is Nepal’s potential market, we have not yet signed any trade treaty,” he said, adding that the two countries have agreed to sign a treaty. “Both the sides are working on the list of tradable products.”

Nepal has exported goods worth Rs 89 million to Bhutan in 2013 whereas the export stood at Rs 695.4 million in 2012 and Rs 239.4 million in 2011, according to Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC).

As both the South Asian countries are in the regional framework of South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), and sub-regional arrangement Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sector Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), they are involved in trade without bilateral trade arrangement.

Nepal exports handicrafts and noodles to Bhutan, whereas Bhutan exports agro-based products including fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and potatoes to Nepal.

During the programme,

President of the Lalitpur chamber Ajar Man Joshi, on the occasion, asked the government to build a city hall in Lalitpur that is equipped with modern facilities. “A city hall is the need of the time to organise trade fairs and exhibitions for the promotion of locally manufactured goods,” he said.

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