Panitanki (West Bengal), Aug 11 (ANI): Revision of two trade treaties between India and Nepal in 2009 provided impetus to the business between the two countries.
The 60-year-old trade agreement that was revised provided Nepal duty-free access to more Indian products and permitted the Nepalese exporters to sell Indian goods to a third country.
Import and export of various items such as agricultural and electronic goods and textiles is taking place on a regular basis at the Panitanki village, which is situated at the India-Nepal border in West Bengal's Darjeeling District.
"It is not like we are travelling to another country. We can trade freely in Nepal. We don't face any problems there. We (traders) have to only follow proper procedures with the right documents. We do not feel it is a foreign country," said Nirmal Majumdar, a fruit exporter from West Bengal, whose business has expanded over the years following the free movement of people on either side.
India is Nepal's largest trade partner and source of foreign investment. Bilateral trade was worth US3.46 billion dollar during fiscal year 2009-10 in which the share of imports from India were about US 2366.5 million dollar.
India imports mainly ginger, clothing, musical instruments, vegetable oils, tea and fruits and exports food supplements, fuels and medicine. The inhabitants of lower region in Nepal depend upon India for modern medical treatment.
Nepalese businessmen benefit the most from the open border.
"I visit India regularly for business. Goods are exchanged From Dhulabari in (Nepal) to Siliguri (India). We go there for business. We take the goods to Siliguri for trading. We save money in the process. The goods are cheaper here," said Bimal Mainali, a Nepalese businessman.
"The Nepalese buy goods from here and resell it after raising its price by 5 to 10 rupees. But we come here directly as we get the goods at a good price," he added. (ANI)
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