B’desh opens Bangalabandha Dry Port for Nepali traders to export yarn

Published On: January 8, 2023 09:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 8: Nepal can now enjoy easy access to a dry port in Bangladesh to export its yarn to third countries. Neighbouring Bangladesh has agreed to allow Nepal, a landlocked Himalayan country, to use its nearest dry port for the exports.

Issuing a public notice two weeks ago, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) said Bangladesh has already completed the official formalities that will allow Nepal to use its Bangalabandha Dry Port to export Nepali yarn. 

“The National Board of Revenue, the apex body of Bangladesh in tax-related issues, has recently incorporated the matter in its Statutory Regulatory Orders and had it published in the country’s national gazette,” reads the notice forwarded by the MoICS to the Nepal Yarn Manufacturers’ Association.

Nepal has long been demanding Bangladesh to address hurdles to exporting its yarn to Bangladesh, harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and review the list of 108 Nepali products which have duty-free access to the Bangladesh market. This includes easy visa facility for Nepalis, preferential treatment for a number of Nepali goods and access to Bangladeshi ports for exporting goods to third countries.

As of now, Bangladesh has been allowing the import of Nepali yarn only by sea. Nepali traders who have been dispatching their yarn to Bangladesh via Bangalabandha were required to send their shipments through Chittagong which increased their trading costs.

In 2002, Bangladesh imposed the restriction on yarn import through the land port seeking to safeguard the local cotton yarn industry from foreign products. The country instead opened up its Benapole Land Port and Chittagong Sea Port for yarn import.

Polyester yarn is one of the major export items of Nepal. According to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country exported yarn worth Rs 3.30 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year. Nepal earned Rs 9.51 billion by exporting this product in the fiscal year 2021/22. The figure was Rs 7.34 billion in the FY 2020/21.  

Recently, Bangladesh has been looking forward to purchasing Nepal’s hydroelectricity. Likewise, Bangladeshi investors were keen to invest in Nepal’s water resources, health and tourism, among other sectors. Trade experts say Bangladesh’s latest move indicates the SAARC country is interested in enhancing economic cooperation with Nepal.

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