Bangladesh could become new trade destination for Nepal, experts say

Nepal faces challenges in maximizing its exports to neighboring countries due to production constraints, supply-side issues, and trade barriers. Experts convened by the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) emphasized the need to address these obstacles, particularly in trade with Bangladesh and India. Nepal’s heavy reliance on India for exports, coupled with limited trade diversification, calls for exploring alternative markets as it nears graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status.

The discussion highlighted the potential for stronger trade ties with Bangladesh by tackling tariff and para-tariff barriers. High trade costs, regulatory barriers to electricity exports, and shrinking Indian investment were also discussed, emphasizing the importance of coordinated efforts among various stakeholders to enhance Nepal’s trade and exports, including promoting high-value products produced by women entrepreneurs in MSMEs.