Nepal to give preferential treatment to 50 Bangladeshi products
Nepal agreed to provide preferential treatment to 50 Bangladeshi products including trout fish, catfish, carp potato and bamboo shoot.
Though the bilateral agreement will be signed tomorrow at the end of two-day techinal committee meeting – led by joint secretaries of both the countries – level talks that began here today, Nepal has decided to reciprocate by providing preferential treatment to Bangladesh on some 50 products, said commerc secretary Naiendra Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya.
"Nepal agreed to reduce the customs duty on the selected products," he said, adding that Bangladesh had been seeking duty free access to 64 products – including fish, medicines, jute and juice – to the Nepali market. "But Nepal has agreed to reduce the customs duty of 50 products in line with the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) provisions."
Nepal will agree to reduce the customs duty to five per cent on those products from the previous rates of 15 per cent or more. However, the agreement will come into effect after the secretary level meeting, that is planned within three montsh, agrees.
The ministry has also agreed to reduce customs duty to just three per cent on the goods which were in the three to 15 per cent duty range, Upadhyaya added.
Meanwhile, Nepal also tabled a proposal on harmonising the sanitary-phytosanitary measures – quality standards – of the two countries. Nepal handed over a draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on accepting the lab certification of one country to another for exports of agro products," he informed.
According to the ministry, the meeting also decided to request the Indian authorities to establish an immigration office along the Fulbari-Baglabandh route in India.
Currently, Nepali exporters have to face problems in receiving visa and entry permit in Bangladesh in the absence of immigration office of India. "Provided India sets up an immigration office, Bangladesh has agreed to provide the on-arrival visa to Nepali exporters,” he said.
Similarly, the meeting also endorsed the duty free access to 108 Nepali products in the Bangladeshi market as agreed in the last trade talks held in Dhaka in 2013.
Nepal, which had proposed duty free access to 153 products, and is now seeking such concession for 45 additional products, mainly farm products like tea, dairy items, vegetables, meat.