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‘Awareness Regarding SAFTA Among SAARC Countries Necessary’


Biratnagar, Nov 16,2014: The upcoming SAARC Summit going to be held in Kathmandu in ten days time should be fruitful to resolve problems seen in the trade sector in the region.


The Summit should also be useful to resolve problems seen in the business sector as some of businessmen are unaware of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA). The SAFTA was established with an objective of expediting trade activities among the SAARC member countries.


Nepal’s trade is the highest with India among SAARC countries. Nepali businessmen face problem unnecessarily due to dispute occurred time and again as most of middle and small scale Indian businessmen lack information about the SAFTA policy.


Chairman of Morang Industry Association, Shiva Shankar Agrawal, said creating awareness regarding the SAFTA by SAARC countries to their respective businessmen was necessary.


Though the policy has the objective of promoting the export of goods among the member states, Nepali businessmen have been facing problem in exporting goods for lack of a uniform customs policy.

Nepal has to pay up to 30 per cent customs duty while exporting goods to Bangladesh but India pays only 10 per cent duty while exporting the same goods to Bangladesh.

Morang Trade Association Chairman and lawmaker Pawan Sharada said business with Bangladesh is declining gradually after Nepali businessmen could not compete due to this.

Nepal should take concrete steps to bring this matter into deliberations at the upcoming SAARC summit so as to promote export trade of the smaller nations, added Agrawal.



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