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BD, Nepal Commerce Secretaries agree to finalize PTA

Published : Monday, 22 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 304

BD, Nepal Commerce Secretaries agree to finalize PTA

BD, Nepal Commerce Secretaries agree to finalize PTA

Bangladesh and Nepal in a commerce secretary level meeting laid emphasis on finalizing the draft Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries aiming at boosting bilateral trade between the two neighbors.

Both sides also agreed to sign a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMMA) to facilitate exchange of Customs-related data and information. The meeting had also reiterated the importance of harmonizing and streamlining customs procedures to bolster trade facilitation.

Efforts to simplify and expedite visa procedures for Bangladeshi businesspersons were also discussed during the meeting.
The 7th Commerce Secretary Level Meeting (7th CSLM) between the two countries was held in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on April 18-19, said a press release.

The Bangladesh delegation was led by Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Commerce while the Nepalese delegation was led by Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, Secretary (Commerce and Supplies), Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.

Each delegation included officials from relevant ministries and was accompanied by ambassadors from both countries.

Both sides expected that the proposed PTA will foster increased trade from both sides facilitating duty-free market access or preferential access for each others goods.

It was also agreed that the Trade Negotiating Committee (TNC) would convene promptly to conclude the PTA text, Rules of Origin, and product lists.

Both delegation leaders expressed satisfaction on the excellent bilateral relations.  The secretary level meeting discussed various pertinent issues for further strengthening Bangladesh-Nepal trade and economic cooperation.

Recognizing the pivotal role of seamless connectivity in bolstering trade relations, Bangladesh and Nepal stressed the importance of implementing the cargo protocol under the BBIN-MVA agreement (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement).

In view of the both countries forthcoming graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2026, the meeting underscored the potential challenges affecting market access.

Paramount importance of collaboration was highlighted in addressing these challenges while promoting bilateral trade and fostering enhanced connectivity from both sides.

Welcoming the recent development in power sector cooperation with Nepal, Bangladesh has emphasized the necessity of a secure, long-term power supply arrangement dedicated transmission infrastructure, and comprehensive investor protection for Bangladeshi investors.

The meeting reviewed existing bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) pertaining to agriculture and trade-related technical regulations and stressed the importance of effective implementation of these MoUs to foster a favorable environment for businessmen from both nations.

The meeting decided to hold the next Commerce Secretary-Level Meeting (CSLM) in Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time.

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