Kathmandu, January 24:

After almost a year of the debilitating quota phase-out by the US government for Nepali re-adymade garments, the sector still has the ability to stage a co-meback, feel industry experts.

As US importers get increasingly reluctant to import Chinese textile products, some of the products get gradually diverted towards least developed countries like Nepal. However, the change of heart in the US, is not sufficient for the revival of the Nepali garment sector. For this, the infrastructure is needed to be boosted, feel experts.

Dr Champak Pokharel, member of the National Planning Commission (NPC), while spe-aking at the project launching function ‘Addressing the Impact of Phasing Out of Textile and Clothing Quotas’ admitted that garment export has come done following the quota phase out by US’. However, the garment sector, in terms of value addition, employment and export is very significant. Therefore, we need to have future strategies to move ahead by competing with existing free market mechanisms, said Dr Pokharel.

Industry secretary Bharat Bahadur Thapa, at launching function organised jointly by SAWTEE, UNDP and Action Aid Nepal urged the business sector and concerned experts to make a system so that the garment sector could be made strong.

Thapa opined that businesspeople have tremendous opportunities in the regional and global perspectives, but they have to be competent and enhance their capacities.

Sri Ram Pandey, assistant resident representative of UNDP, commented that human reso-urce development is important alongwith an enabling environment to boost the garment industry. In such a context, we need to face emerging challenges and exploit our tremendous potential, said Pandey.

Kiran Sakha, president of Garment Association of Nepal (GAN), commented that following a quota phase out of textile sector, it is in a dilapidated state for which all concerned authorities need to pay serious heed.

He informed that US importers are getting reluctant to purchase Chinese products. Given such a context, Nepali products may penetrate global markets if we could make a long term strategy and put effective lobbying mechanisms in place. He demanded to bring out a long term export policy and simplify procedures to boost export-oriented industries.

Navin Dahal executive director of SAWTEE, said, “It would help in creating an enabling environment for sustainable gro-wth of industries, services and trade. Similarly, the project, according to Dahal would work to identify sectors, sub-sectors an-d products with backward linkages and having high potentials for employment, human development and poverty reduction.” He stressed on the need to identify the human development challenges and recomme-nd measures to address them.