Economy and Trade
Nepal adopted liberal economic policy with a wide range of economic reforms since early 1990s. Those reforms induced remarkable growth in the key areas of the economy such as industry, trade, foreign investment, finance and international transactions. Market oriented economic policy has facilitated the growth of private sector by limiting the role of Government.
The reform and restructuring process in the various economic sectors has been instrumental in making the economy more investment friendly, transparent, market oriented and efficient. As a result, the contribution from the non-agriculture sector reached to almost 67 percent from its 49 percent share in early 1990s. In order to promote Nepal's economy and trade further, it presented itself as an active member in the international trade forum. Nepal is a founding member of SAARC and is envolved in South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) process from the very beginning, Nepal became the member of World Trade Organization in 2004. Similarly Nepal became member of The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) in same year. Such initiative has been instrumental for expanding the Nepalese trade overseas.
The Trade Treaty between Nepal and India permits all Nepalese manufactured products to enter the Indian market free of customs duties and quantitative restriction except four items such as Vegetable fat, Copper products, Zink Oxide and Acrelic Yarn.
Nepal's total foreign trade reached US $ 5.74 billion in 2010/11. Nepal has trade relations with more than ninety-three countries of the world. Kolkata and Haldia ports are the only seaports available for Nepal in India for transit. The two countries have agreed to open Vishakapattanam as another point for transit. However, this point is yet to be operationalised. Dry-port facilities are available in Biratnagar, Birgun and Kakarbhitta customs Few more new dry ports are under construction..
A railway service between Kolkata(India) and Birgunj( Nepal) has eased transportation of bulk cargo, which has helped to reduce time and cost on goods significantly.