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Overseas trade rises amidst all odds
Oct '08
Even after witnessing so much of instability and labour unrest, Nepal managed to take its overseas trade to nearly Rs286.9 billion in the fiscal 2007- 08. This shows a significant growth of 13 percent when compared to previous year, according to the available statistics.

The bilateral trade with India also witnessed a rise of 16 percent and touched around Rs183.15 billion. On the other hand, trade with third nations grew at a slower pace and reached Rs103.75 billion, showcasing a slight rise of 7.5 percent.

However, the image of Nepal suffered in international market due to internal upheaval that resulted in lower productivity and shrinking profit margins. The import of various commodities rose considerably, making Nepal's trade deficit widen by almost 22 percent and came to around Rs165.32 billion.

The exports increased by merely 2.4 percent to reach Rs 60.78 billion during fiscal 2007- 08. Imports on the other hand, sprang up by over 16 percent and totaled Rs. 226.11 billion.

India is Nepal's largest trading partner; however, exports to the country recorded a decline of 7.4 percent during the year and reached around Rs38.62 billion. Import from India increased by 25 percent valued at approximately Rs144.52 billion.

On the other hand exports to third nations grew by more than 25 percent and helped nation earn nearly Rs22.16 billion. The import rose over 3 percent and reached Rs81.59 billion. Yet the growth in exports to third countries did not contribute much to bringing down the trade deficit.

Even in third country markets, the leading products of Nepal such as woolen carpet, garment and pashmina products faced tough times due to external and internal conditions.

With an export volume coming close to Rs5.04 billion, woollen carpets became Nepal's largest exportable commodity. Readymade garments acquired the second place, with exports amounting to approximately Rs4.74 billion.

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