Commerce minister seeks respect for hassle-free transit rights of LLDCs

Kathmandu, June 23

Commerce Minister Jayant Chand has underscored the importance of unfettered and unhampered transit access to the nearest sea for Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs).

While acknowledging trade as an enabler of sustainable development, poverty reduction and sustained economic growth, Minister Chand pointed out various geographical, physical and structural constraints faced by LLDCs which have impeded their share in global trade, which is around 1.2 per cent at present. In this context, he demanded that transit rights of LLDCs be respected in all situations.

The minister made the statement today at the Fifth Meeting of Trade Ministers of LLDCs organised by United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.

Highlighting the role of Trade Facilitation Agreement reached at WTO in 2013 for facilitating transit issues, especially for LLDCs, he emphasised also on the need to invest more in modern transport infrastructure network and to ensure multimodal bilateral and regional transport connectivity, according to a media release.

Chand also stressed on the need to mainstream the priority areas of the Vienna Plan of Action (VPoA) in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs). In his statement, Minister Chand highlighted that VPoA and 2030 SDGs that have addressed the special development needs and challenges of the LLDCs in the spirit of leaving no one behind.

He called for north-south, south-south and triangular cooperation, as well as enhanced and strengthened global partnership for transfer of technology, finance, ideas and knowhow which are essential to implement all globally agreed development goals, including VPoA and SDGs. He also appealed for comprehensive, coordinated and coherent policy initiatives at the global, regional and local levels.

Referring to the damage of the economy of Nepal by the earthquakes last year, Minister Chand expressed that building resilience is important for countries like Nepal.  He also thanked the international community for the solidarity and support in the aftermath of the earthquakes, the release adds.

The theme of the two-day ministerial meeting that is concluding tomorrow is ‘harnessing the trade potential of the LLDCs to implement the Vienna Programme of Action for LLDCs and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.