‘Improve transit for trade facilitation’

Kathmandu, May 11:

Experts here today urged for improvement of transit; harmonisation of customs procedures, documentation and standard; removal of restrictions on cross border investment and incentives for cross border investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to facilitate Nepal’s trade.

There is no alternative to rapid growth for prosperity of the country, Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar, vice-president of FNCCI, said, addressing the launching ceremony of Business Consultative Round Table Coordination Unit (BCRT-CU) and seminar on Trade Facilitation through Cost Reduction.

FNCCI — in association with Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies and UNDP — launched Business Consultative Round Table Coordination unit (BCRT-CU) — a dialogue forum on trade and economic issues — here today. The dialogue between the private sector and policy makers is a must for the economic growth, he added. “Cost is a major factor and we have to work hard on how to reduce cost to make our exports competitive,” Rajkarnikar said.

Reduction of trade barriers, better transport networks and free transit, access to shipping ports, least transaction cost, least transit hassel are some of the issues that need immediately attention for cost reduction, said Nabin Pudasaini, first vice-president of Makwanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), presenting a paper on ‘Trade Facilitation through Cost Reduction.’

“Government can help us reduce cost by reducing transaction time and cost. Similarly, removing DDC taxes, banning cartelling and syndicate system, providing uninterrupted power supply, keeping high-ways bandh-free and forming Industrial Security Force as soon as possible are some majors that the government must take to reduce cost and make Nepali products more competitive,” he suggested.

“BCRT will identify emerging problems in trade sector,” Kumud Kumar Dugar, chairman of the Trade Committee at FNCCI who heads the BCRT-CU, said adding that experts, civil society and private sector will work together to workout the solution for the problems.

Trade facilitation is a long-term agenda, said Purushottam Ojha, secretary at the Ministry of Industry commerce and Supplies, on the occasion.

Ane Isabelle Degryse Blateau, country director at the UNDP, one of the major development partners of Nepal, said that Nepal has huge opportunity. “It has number of talents and resources,” she said, adding, “but we need to be constructive for development.”