Commerce minister stresses role of trade for economic diversification

Kathmandu, December 14

Minister for Commerce Meen Bahadur Bishwakarma has acknowledged the role of World Trade Organisation (WTO) in promoting trade for poverty reduction, job creation and achieving sustained growth and economic diversification.

Addressing Ministerial Conference of the WTO at Buenos Aires, Bishwakarma underlined the need for establishing a balanced, transparent and inclusive world trade order for which the existing gaps inherent in the physical, digital and regulatory regimes must be fulfilled.

He referred to the important role of trade as driver of development and underscored the need to utilise the power of trade to realise the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is people-centric.

Bishwakarma expressed concerns that exports from least developed countries (LDCs) have now fallen below one per cent level against the target of Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs of raising the export trade to two per cent of global total.

Similarly, he emphasised the need of faithful implementation of past decisions, including those of Hong Kong, Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Conferences, specifically related to duty-free quota-free market access, preferential rules of origin, LDC services waiver, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement and Trade Facilitation Agreement, among others.

Similarly, Chandra Kumar Gimire, secretary at the Ministry of Commerce, stated that without addressing the physical and digital gaps, rule-making in e-commerce would not bring any benefit to the people of weaker economies and LDCs.

He also stressed on the need to ensure that e-commerce should be inclusive and beneficial to all to stop resistance from the large part of the world community, basically the ones who are left behind.