Nepal, Myanmar aims to boost bilateral trade with fresh agreements

Last week, Nepal and Myanmar inked agreements that will pave way for more bilateral investments between the two countries in the areas of trade, tourism and cultural exchanges.

The MoUs were signed in the presence of Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Myanmar leader arrived in Nepal last week to attend the Asia Pacific Summit, which had heads of states and governments, lawmakers, eminent leaders, businessmen and leaders of civil society of the Asia Pacific region. The summit started from November 30 to December 3, 2018.

This is the first time such agreement has been reached between the two countries. The Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the two countries already have an agreement on trade and exchange, my Republica reported.

The bilateral trade volume between Nepal and Myanmar stands at just $3.86 million. Currently, Nepal imports lentil and food grain from Myanmar, and the agreement is expected to further promote trade between the two countries.

The two countries also held discussions to establish air connectivity.

Nepal plans to begin direct air service with Myanmar once the second international airport being constructed in Lumbini is completed, an official at the Foreign Ministry said.

Myanmar has constructed a temple in Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha.

Oli and Suu Kyi also discussed matters pertaining to further activating the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), sources close to the PM said. Suu Kyi also paid a courtesy call to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Friday.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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