India and Nepal on Wednesday signed a new treaty to enhance bilateral trade and to cooperate in controlling unauthorised trade. Union minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma and Rajendra Mahto, Nepal's minister of commerce and supplies signed the `2009 India-Nepal Treaty of Trade and Agreement of Cooperation to Control Unauthorised Trade.'
The 2009 trade treaty revises the 1996 trade treaty between the two countries. "The 1996 treaty has been a turning point in the trade relations between the two countries and resulted in phenomenal growth of bilateral trade from Rs2,810 crore in 1995-96 to Rs20,480 crore in 2008-09," a government release said.
While Nepal's exports to India increased from Rs370 crore to Rs4,090 crore, India's exports to Nepal increased from Rs2,440 crore to Rs16,390 crore during the period 1995-2009.
"There is need to shift the Indo-Nepal trade to the higher level and attain better qualitative dimensions. The opening of new lines of products and duty-free access in India will provide further boost to the growing Indo-Nepal Trade," said commerce minister Anand Sharma.
He said the revised treaty would help facilitate trade by opening new land routes for trade between the two countries. "The current treaty is expected to provide further access to Nepalese products into India and to enhance and expand bilateral trade between the two countries," the minister added.
The revised treaty is valid for a period of seven years against five years earlier and there is a provision for automatic extension of the treaty for further periods of seven years at a time. "This will provide more stable framework for bilateral trade and promote investments in Nepal based on preferential access provided by the treaty to Nepalese products," the release said.