Kathmandu: India and Nepal on Sunday agreed to address each other`s concerns on commerce and transit, including reduction of tariff barriers and checking illegal trade along the porous border between the two countries.
The decisions were made during the two-day Inter-Governmental Committee meeting that concluded here today. The delegations of the two sides were led by the Commerce Secretaries.
The two sides agreed to step up efforts to check unauthorised trade, including controlling trade in fake Indian currency, according to officials.
The Indian side agreed to provide 10,000 cows in response to a demand from Nepal to meet the country`s increasing demand for milk and dairy products.
The two sides had "fruitful discussions" and "developed a common understanding in areas related to trade and transit and controlling unauthorised trade on the border", Nepal`s Commerce Secretary Madhav Prasad Regmi said after the meeting.
"We have also been able to sort out many important bilateral issues which had remained in limbo for a long time," he said. The deliberations helped "clarify many issues of common interest relating to trade and transit", he added.
Regmi said he agreed with his Indian counterpart S R Rao`s views that "Nepal has to do much more to reduce its trade deficit and India could help Nepal in this regard".
Rao said: "From the Indian side, we recognise the necessity of balancing trade to make it far more sustainable for both countries.
"It is our policy that sooner or later, we wish to see a more balanced trade between the two countries."
Though both sides have been looking primarily at trade in goods, they need to increase trade in services and investments for balancing trade, Rao said.
The two sides agreed on a 14-point agenda to enhance trade, promote cooperation and address concerns of the private sector of both sides, according to an official statement.
Nepal agreed to adjust the five per cent agriculture reforms charge it has been charging on Indian exports. India agreed to resolve difficulties related to export of Nepali books and newspapers.