Nepal and Pakistan, both SAARC nations, have developed strong diplomatic relations since as far back as 1960. Their economic relations, however, are far less strong.
The bilateral trade between the two countries stands at less than 2% of Nepal’s total international trade.To strengthen the trade ties with Nepal, the second “Made in Pakistan” product exhibition is being held at the World Trade Center, Kathmandu, between 19 and 25, July 2011. The exhibition showcases scores of Pakistani products like wooden furniture, textiles products, garments, leather products, accessories, ladies dresses and bags, cosmetics, handicrafts, kitchenware, gemstones, jewelries and machinery products. A group of more than eighty business people from Pakistan are participating in the fair.
“Trade fares like this are not only for showcasing products but are also for creating business tie-ups and strengthening the economic relations between the two nations,” said Pradeep Man Vaidya, chairman of Nepal Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Current exports to Pakistan amount to US $ 1.1 million and imports from that country are worth US $4.01 million. The figures are far below Nepal’s trade volumes with other neighboring nations. “There is a great need to increase the volume of trade. This exhibition will be a big opportunity for our businessmen for export and import of products with Pakistan,” said Himalaya SJB Rana, president of Nepal- Pakistan Friendship and Cultural Association.
Transportation of goods from one nation to the other is the main obstacle that is hindering trade between Nepal and Pakistan. “As WAGA border is closed for trade and there is no direct sea-link between the two, there is an additional cost in transportation and logistics,”said Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar, vice-president of FNCCI. “We should take maximum benefit from this trade. Pakistan can find many business opportunities in Nepal and entrepreneurs from both nations can have a win-win situation.”
Ahmer Ismaile, charge d’ affairs, Embassy of Pakistan, said, “This fair is more than a business venture, it is organized with an expectation to strengthen the bilateral relations and will be a mega event facilitating more than 80 businessmen.”
“Events like this could play a catalytic role in bringing two countries together and will increase level of contact, develop trade and economic relations,” said Upendra Yadav, Deputy Prime Minister.