Trade Modernization Spurs Economic Growth in Nepal | Asian Development Bank

Trade Modernization Spurs Economic Growth in Nepal

Video | 12 January 2018

New customs facilities and streamlined procedures introduced at the Mechi border area between Nepal and India are helping promote trade between the two countries.  

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, or SASEC, program is working with Nepal to develop trade infrastructure, laying the foundation for economic growth in the largely rural country.

The Asian Development Bank is committed to supporting regional cooperation and integration among the SASEC economies.

Transcript

Mechi, Nepal - Trade is an engine of economic growth across South Asia. In landlocked Nepal, it is a lifeline for a largely rural economy.

Modern trade facilities and services create new opportunities for businesses and make trade more efficient.

"Some years ago, when we used to do import-export, we had a lot of problems," says Mohan Niroula, Exporter and President fo the Mechi Customes Agents Associations.

"There was a manual system, there was no yard. The roads were narrow, and it was a challenge to do our work, as  a lot of our time was wasted."

"Now with the yard being close by,  custom clearnace is done quickly," Niroula adds.

"With the single-window system we have now, all work is done in one place, saving us a lot of time and money."

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, or SASEC, program is working with Nepal to develop its trade infrastrucutre, laying the foundation for economic growth.

"The purpose of this initiative was to modernise customs," says Bhim Prasad Adhikari, Chief Customs Officer, Kakarvitta, Nepal.

"Since the project was launched, a dry port was constructed at Mechi Customs."

"All the agencies, such as customs handling agents, plant quarantine, etc., are now in one place. This means that people can clear customs at a one stop shop rather than different places."

Through this project, other bottlenecks in customs procedure were identified and addressed. Policies and procedures, for example, were also streamlined.

"Earlier we had to work at the zero point at the border," says a driver familiar with the route.

"Now facilities have improved and our trucks go right through, up to the yard in Bangladesh.”

As Nepal and India step up transport and trade cooperation, including plans for a new bridge across the Mechi River, the full benefits of customs improvement will be felt.

The Asian Development Bank is committed to supporting regional cooperation and integration among the SASEC economies.