Bangladesh has expressed willingness to invest in 20 hydropower projects in Nepal during bilateral trade talks held in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
In the fourth meeting of the Nepal-Bangladesh Technical Committee for promotion of trade, both countries were positive on simplifying existing issues related to tariff and non-tariff barriers, said the officials of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
“Apart from the trade issues, Bangladeshi officials were keen to invest in hydropower projects in Nepal,” said an official of the ministry who participated in the talks. But he wished to remain anonymous because he was not allowed to speak to the media.
Power-hungry Bangladesh has been consistently showing interest to invest in Nepal’s energy projects.
In a recently held secretary-level meeting between energy officials in Dhaka, both countries agreed to trade power through India’s transmission network.
Nepal, India and Bangladesh are also holding talks on using the Indian grid to transfer electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh, four months after a secretary-level meeting between Nepali and Bangladeshi energy officials agreed to trade power through India’s transmission network.
The Seventh Joint Steering Committee meeting on Nepal-India Cooperation which concluded last week had decided to hold a tripartite meeting within three months to materialise the issue.
According to the ministry’s official, Nepal asked Bangladesh to allow the export of local cardamom, yarn and broom grass (amriso) without facing any hurdles to be sold in Bangladesh. “Likewise, Nepal also put forth providing easy access to Nepali agricultural products including fruits to trade in the Bangladeshi market,” said the official.
The two countries also discussed easing the movement of passenger vehicles across its borders. “Bangladesh is also positive on providing easy access to Nepali cargo vehicles in the seaport of Bangladesh for third-country trade.”
The ministry official said the bilateral trade talks were mainly focused on materialising the five memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries earlier. “These include the trading of farm products and food items, among others.”
Navaraj Dhakal, joint secretary of the ministry led the Nepali team while Joint Secretary at Bangladeshi Ministry of Commerce Sharifa Khan led the Bangladeshi delegation. The two sides are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding during the trade talks.
Once the decisions made by the Technical Committees are approved at the higher government levels, they will be executed, said a ministry official.
Copyright: The Kathmandu Post/Asia News Network (ANN)