KATHMANDU, Sept 3. Lack of any bilateral treaty on trade between Nepal and Bhutan has directly affected trade. Private sectors of both the countries have taken initiative for treaty but bilateral trade has not increased with no effort at the government level. There was some initiative a few years back but the process has not moved forward now.
Entrepreneurs in both the countries say there is boundless potential in bilateral trade between the countries with many geographical and cultural similarities. Diplomatic relationship between the countries, frigid for over a decade due to the issue of Bhutanese refugees, is improving in recent times. Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay himself had arrived with relief materials after the earthquake on April 25. Private sector of both the countries say trade relation should also be improved along with improvement in diplomatic relationship.
General Secretary of Bhutan Chamber of Commerce Phub Tshering says there is huge potential in bilateral trade. “Ninety-five percent of goods are imported from third countries in Butan. A few items come from Nepal but they are not getting facilities in lack of bilateral treaty, and have not been able to become competitive as a result,” he reasons.
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