border review | 24 July 2011

Nepal-China trade

The Himalayan Times:

During 2010-11, Nepal’s imports stood at Rs 43 billion, while total export stood at Rs 1 billion. Nepal had a trade deficit of around Rs 42 billion with China that was only around Rs 31 billion during 2008-09. Similarly, the deficit stood at Rs 23 billion during 2007-08.

In other words, imports from China almost doubled over the past three years. Just for comparison: on 11 February 1964, when the Friendship Highway between Kathmandu and Lhasa was taking shape, the New York Times reported:

As to closer contact with the Chinese Communists in Tibet, not everyone in Nepal is enthusiastic. “The Chinese will get everything from us,” said a trader at Barabise, a center about 12 miles south of the border at Kodari. “They are already getting a lot of our rice, maize and other grains, tobacco, cigarettes, sugar, matchboxes, oil, soap, biscuits, textiles. We get in return only wool and musk, for which there is no market, some salt and sheep. Nepal can’t buy a thing she needs. The benefit is all theirs.