Hyderabad: Faced with a huge trade deficit with India, Nepal has urged New Delhi to give more market access to its products and accept their laboratory and quality standards back home, a senior official of the Himalayan Kingdom said on Thursday.
The size of the annual bilateral trade is around USD 5 billion, with imports by Nepal accounting for more than USD 4 billion, according to Krishna Prasad Dhakal, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi.
"It's a very, very important factor that balance of trade is in favour of India. But now Government of Nepal and Government of India are coming together to narrow down this huge gap," he told PTI, on the sidelines of a seminar on tourism, trade and investment opportunities in Nepal here.
"Government of Nepal is requesting Government of India to give more market access to Nepalese products, to accept the laboratory tests of Nepalese products and to accept quality standards of Nepal in India," Dhakal said.
"We have found that Government of India is quite positive and supportive in this regard. We do hope that in the days to come, Nepal and India will both work together to narrow down the gap," he said.
Dhakal also made a pitch "sister city" engagement between Kathmandu and Hyderabad, and also mooted the idea of a direct flight between the two cities, proposals which drew support from Telangana Industries Commissioner Jayesh Ranjan and Managing Director of Bhagyanagar India Ltd, Devendra Surana, who also spoke at the event.
"Sister city relationship would increase contacts, interactions and engagements between Kathmandu and Hyderabad that would help to learn from each other and have joint activities," Dhakal said.
Ranjan, who sought to showcase Telangana's industrial policy unveiled recently, said the new State is also going to have sister city engagement with French city of Bordeaux.
Telangana has on offer 2.5 lakh acres of government land for industrial purposes, he told the seminar, jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi.
Dhakal said some airlines might definitely be interested to start a direct flight between Kathmandu and Hyderabad, adding, he would also request Royal Nepal Airlines to add this city as a destination.