Nepal Continues to Face Trade Deficit with Bangladesh for Over a Decade

Wed, Apr 3, 2024 1:55 PM on Latest, Economy, National,

Nepal has been contending with a persistent trade deficit with Bangladesh over the past decade, as indicated by data from the Mechi Customs Office.

In the initial eight months of the current fiscal year 2080/81 BS, the trade imbalance stood at approximately Rs 2.431 billion. The primary transit route spanning 52 kilometers from the eastern checkpoint at Kakadbhitta to Bangladesh's Banglabandha dry port via Fulbari, India, serves as the principal conduit for trade between the two nations. While Nepal benefits from a direct transit route under the trilateral agreement with India and Bangladesh, trade via air remains minimal between the two countries.

Ram Prasad Regmi, Chief Customs Officer at the Mechi Customs Office, highlighted the persistent challenge of Nepal failing to achieve a balanced trade relationship with Bangladesh since the fiscal year 2071/72 BS. Customs data from Mechi indicates that imports from Bangladesh amounted to Rs 2.59 billion during the first eight months of the current fiscal year, while exports totaled Rs 165.64 million within the same period.

The trade deficit with Bangladesh has shown a consistent pattern over preceding fiscal years, as per customs records. In fiscal year 2079/80, the deficit stood at Rs 5.18 billion, followed by Rs 10.38 billion in 2078/79, Rs 6.54 billion in 2077/78, and Rs 4.24 billion in 2076/77. Similarly, deficits were recorded at Rs 2.44 billion in fiscal years 2075/76, 2074/75, and 2073/74, with a lower deficit of Rs 1.40 billion noted in 2071/72.