January 11: Nepali entrepreneurs complain that domestic products cannot compete in international market due to the high transportation costs for overseas trade. They informed that the production cost has increased after the shipping companies started charging fares arbitrarily.
A year and a half ago, the government had implemented a direct transshipment system in Indian seaports with the motive of reducing the transportation cost for foreign trade by half. However, Nepali entrepreneurs inform that the expenses have increased instead.
For overseas trade, native traders of the coastal countries pay 5 to 10 percent for transportation costs. Ashok Temani, former chairman of the Transport and Transit Committee of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), argues that Nepali entrepreneurs have to pay up to 40 percent of such expenses.
Government authorities estimate that the cost of transit for a landlocked country is normally 20 percent higher than for a coastal country.
Nepali entrepreneurs say that they are not in a position to compete in the international market because they have to incur an additional 40 percent for transportation cost.