KATHMANDU, 04 Â NOV 2014Â – The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies has said China has expanded the duty free-quota free (DFQF) access facility to least developed countries, including Nepal, on an additional 199 products.
The northern neighbor has also increased the customs duty subsidy on China-bound goods to 97 percent from 95 percent.
China had been providing the DFQF access to 7,831. â€œThe number of products has been increased to 8,030 now,â€ said ministry Spokesperson Deepak Subedi. â€œIn addition, it has also increased the subsidy to 97 percent under the product line concession facility.â€ The ministry on Thursday forwarded drafts of these two bilateral commercial policies to the Cabinet for its approval. Ministry officials said Nepal can enjoy the facilities on almost all exportable products to China once the Cabinet gives its green signal.
The products include wooden products, knitwear, woolen carpets, pashmina and agricultural products, among others. Nepal, however, has so far failed to draw optimum benefit from such facilities due to non-tariff barriers.
Prem Sangraula, office-secretary at the Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce, said Nepali traders face a number of procedural problems while exporting products to China. â€œAlthough traders submit the certificate of origin issued by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, many traders say they are not receiving the DFQF facility in China.â€
According to Sangraula, Nepali traders have been failing avail the facility on almost all agro products. â€œStrict provisions of quarantine check by Chinese authorities, besides lengthy procedure, has also been discouraging exports of farm products,â€ he said. Meanwhile, the ministry said India has okayed the â€œletter of exchangeâ€, to allow Nepal to import vehicles from third countries by driving along Indian roads.
In the Inter-governmental Committee meeting held in Kathmandu last year, the Indian government had agreed in principal to allow driving vehicles imported from the third countries to Nepal.Â The ministry said the Indian government has also agreed allowing the Jatahi-Pipraun route as an alternative to the Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway.
The railway has been out of service for the last few months. Subedi said the alternative route will ease the flow of goods. â€œWe have also forwarded drafts on these policies to the Cabinet for its approval,â€ said Subedi.