Bangladesh lifts ban on Nepali yarn import via land port
Bangladesh has decided to lift the ban on import of yarn from Nepal via the Banglabandha land port after nearly 17 years, following repeated requests from the land locked country.
The National Board of Revenue of Bangladesh on December 28, decided to lift the ban on import of acrylic yarn from Nepal through the Banglabandha land port.
The move conditionally allows Nepal to export only acrylic yarn through the port with the ban initially being withdrawn for only one year.
Nepal has long been demanding Bangladesh to open the gateway for exporters of Nepali yarn.
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.
However, Nepali traders had been reluctant to use the Benapole port, which connects Petrapole of India, stating that they faced a lot of hassles while using the gateway that passes through the Indian land customs. Likewise, trading through Chittagong makes them accrue heavy costs, according to the traders.
Nepal exports polyester and viscose blend yarn worth over Rs8 billion annually. Of the total export figures, half is exported to Turkey. India, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and a number of Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam are the other major importers of Nepali yarn.
"Bangladesh is a potential market for Nepali yarn," Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) Deputy Executive Director Suyash Khanal, told The Kathmandu Post.
The leading Nepali Newspaper in its Thursday's report said : Bangladesh could be worth billions of rupees, provided the country allows easy access to the Nepali product. Although Bangladesh has lifted the ban, the country however, continues to maintain stern measures before accepting the goods from Nepal.
Currently, Nepal and Bangladesh conduct bilateral trade between through two land ports namely Banglabandha and Fulbari in Siliguri of West Bengal, India. Bangladesh has considered import under bond licence duty free, but the country imposes 10 percent duty on yarn import.
Apart from the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), Nepal and Bangladesh have also joined hands in the BBIN initiative and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). These call for improving economic cooperation along with trade relationships between the member countries.