KATHMANDU, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Nepal suffered a total of 17.6 million U.S. dollars trade deficit a day during the first eight months of the current fiscal year, a recent government date showed on Wednesday.
According to a data released by Trade and Export Promotion Center (TEPC), an agency that documents the foreign trade data, the Himalayan country imported goods worth 20.31 million U.S. dollars a day and supplied items equaling to 2.70 million U.S. dollars a day.
"The per day trade loss soared up due to the massive import of goods including, petroleum products, iron and steel products, vehicles, machinery, electronics and food commodities from India and third country, the report said.
Nepal suffered trade deficit of 4.23 billion U.S. dollars in the first eight months of fiscal year 2013-14, up by 17.8 percent compared to the trade deficit it suffered during the same period in the last fiscal year.
As per the data the country imported goods and services worth 4. 88 billion U.S. dollars during the first eight months of 2013/14 while recorded the export of goods and services worth only 64.8 million U.S. dollars.
Trade deficit has come to be the biggest threat of Nepal's economy. Due to the supply side constraints including low production and obstacles at customs points, the South Asian country has not been able to do significant amount of export trade.
"Until and unless, we are able to minimize our supply side constraints, Nepal can never export goods, resulting in the massive amount of trade deficit," Nepal's former Commerce Secretary Purushottam Ojha told Xinhua by phone.
According to the report, petroleum products, iron and steel products, automobile and auto parts, telecommunication and electronic equipment, and gold were the country's main imports during the review period.
"Import of petroleum products increased by 24.8 percent to 934 million U.S. dollars while the country imported iron and steel products worth 425 million U.S. dollars in the eight-month period," adds the report.
Even though the Nepal government has already announced to set up a high-level task force in a bid to minimize its ballooning trade deficit, no progress has been made in this respect.