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Chinese concessions fail to reduce Nepal's trade deficit

ANI | Updated: Feb 19, 2022 15:23 IST

Beijing [China], February 19 (ANI): China's offer of duty-free quota access to Nepal is not helping Kathmandu's economy, said a media report on Saturday.
According to Tibet Press, in 2017-18 alone, Nepal's imports from China stood above USD 1.5 billion, while its own exports to the country stood around USD 23 million. The situation has remained so despite China providing duty-free access to Nepal since 2009.
"Nepal hasn't been able to bring the trade deficit down due to unfavourable tariff conditions. China had assured Nepal of importing edibles, meat items and a number of plant products on the basis of special consideration for entry into the Chinese market, but these products are yet to receive duty-free access," reported the publication.

Nepal seeks duty-free access from China for products including pashmina products, woollen carpets and handicrafts in which Nepal has a comparative advantage. These products are currently not included in the DFQF list offered by China to Nepal. During former Prime Minister KP Oli's visit to China, Nepal had made a fresh request to the Chinese government to grant an enhanced level of market access for 512 tradable products. But Beijing has not revised the DFQF list of Nepali products under its duty-free pledge as yet, read the report.
China is the second-largest trading partner of Nepal after India. Still, despite receiving repeated assurances from the Chinese authorities, Nepali goods have been facing hurdles while being exported to China via land routes for the past few years, reported Tibet Press.
The report further stated, "As part of its obligations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), China has been extending the duty-free facility to products being imported from least developed countries, including Nepal. As most of the agro-based primary products are not included in the Chinese list, Nepal has not been able to utilize this facility and exports only about 247 products to China under the duty-free agreement. Nepal has been requesting China to include 512 more of its products in the list where it has a comparative advantage". (ANI)