Nepal's trade deficit jumped five folds in the last decade increasing to NRs 1,162.10 billion as imports have been skyrocketing and exports have slowed to a crawl in the review period, according to a media report.
Nepal imported goods worth NRs 1,243.29 billion against exports worth NRs 81.19 billion which has resulted in a trade deficit of NRs 1,162.10 billion in the last fiscal, Kathmandu Post reported, citing the annual trade statistics of last fiscal 2017-18 unveiled by the Department of Customs yesterday
Compared to the previous fiscal, import growth stood at 26.31 per cent while export growth was a meagre 11.17 per cent and consequently trade deficit jumped by a whopping 27.5 per cent, according to DoC.
The trade gap has widened unsustainably in the last 10 years by five folds until 2017-18 to NRs 1,162.10 billion as compared to NRs 222.4 billion in fiscal 2008-09, which has posed multiple risks in the country's economy.
Supply side constraints also known as low production has been hindering export sector growth. The country's target to raise exports to above NRs 100 billion, which was set some five years back, is still a far-fetched notion.
The country's exports increased by just 18.35 per cent in the last 10 years to Rs 81.19 billion, shows the DoC data.
We can say that export growth has retarded if we compare export growth with the depreciation of the Nepali currency, said Purushottam Ojha, former commerce secretary. Nepali currency vis--vis the US dollar has depreciated by 56.5 per cent.
Imports have skyrocketed in last decade. Volume of imports was at Rs 291 billion in 2008-09, which has skyrocketed to Rs 1,243.29 billion in 2017-18. Exports used to cover 23.6 per cent of the imports till 2008-09, however, it now covers only 6.5 per cent of total imports.
A decade back, in fiscal 2008-09, the country used to import goods worth four rupees for export worth every rupee. However, export to import ratio stood at 1:15 in fiscal 2017-18, which means the country imported goods worth NRs 15 against export of every single rupee.
The major imports of the country are fuel, iron and steel, machines and machinery parts, vehicles and electronic goods, according to the DoC.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)