Nepal has trade surplus with 32 countries

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 9, 2015-

Nepal conducted trade with 180 countries in the last fiscal year and enjoyed a trade surplus with only 32 of them, the Department of Commerce (DoC) said.  

The country suffered heavy trade deficits with its major trading partners, resulting in a total trade deficit of Rs700.9 billion in the last fiscal year 2014-15. Nepal’s exports fell to Rs85.19 billion in the last fiscal while imports soared to Rs786.19 billion.

Among the countries with which Nepal enjoys a good trade surplus are Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Norway, Croatia, Andorra and Lebanon with whom very little trade takes place.  

Naindra Upadhyay, secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supply, said the country’s exports suffered due to a low supply capacity as the export industry has been marred by an unpredictable environment and labour problems and shortages.

“We have to increase the manufacturing base to be able to export more. Despite prospects of higher exports, we don’t have enough products to trade,” he added.

Among the countries with which Nepal has a trade surplus, Afghanistan imports Pan Gutka while the UK buys homoeopathic medicaments, essential oils, agarbatti and handbags, among other products. Nepal exported goods such as jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles and men’s or boys’ overcoats and raincoats on a big scale to Norway. India is Nepal’s largest trade partner with the biggest share of both exports and imports. According to the statistics, Nepal exported goods worth Rs55.67 billion and imported goods valued at Rs507.56 billion in the last fiscal year.

The second largest trading partner is China. Exports to the northern neighbour stood at Rs2 billion while imports came to Rs99.28 billion, according to the DoC.

Meanwhile, in terms of exports, the United States is the second largest export destination followed by Germany, Belgium, China and the United Kingdom. In terms of imports, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Argentina came after India and China.

Although Nepal had been enjoying a trade surplus with Bangladesh, the US and Germany, it encountered a deficit in the last fiscal year. According to Upadhyay, the new trade policy launched last week has focused on export promotion through increased incentives.

Export-oriented industries in Nepal will get tax refund facilities on the purchase of domestic and imported raw materials. The government will also refund the value added tax and excise duty imposed on outsourced goods produced domestically if the goods are meant to purchase for exports, the trade policy states.

In the last fiscal year, Nepal conducted trade with countries whose names are rarely heard here like Andorra, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Comoros, Djibouti, French Guiana and Guam, the records show.

Likewise, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Mauritania, Niue, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles and Tokelau are among the other trading partners whose names come up very seldom in Nepal.

Published: 09-09-2015 09:16

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