FHAN presses govt for economic diplomacy

KATHMANDU: The Federation of Handicraft Association of Nepal (FHAN) has urged the government to appoint a Commercial Attache to boost economic diplomacy.

Speaking at a programme during its 29th annual general meeting, FHAN president Pushkar Man Shakya said, “For years we have been urging for economic diplomacy in countries like America and Japan, and for posting Commercial Attaches in those countries.”

According to Shakya, an increase of 13 per cent was observed in the total handicraft products export during the fiscal year 2008-09 compared to the year 2007-08. Total handicraft products exported during the fiscal year 2008-09 was worth Rs 3.29 billion but actually there was a dvloume drop of three per cent. “The cash return increment in the handicraft export was only due to fluctuations in the value of the dollar,” he said.

Shakya also focused on two major problems faced by the handicraft sector. “The use of cadmium instead of silver in the local market has created a negative impression about the silver jewellery we export. The EU has also sent a notice regarding avoiding the use of cadmium in the silver ornaments exported,” he said.

According to the EU notice, if the use of cadmium is not stopped by 2010 it will stop the import of Nepali silver ornaments. Shakya also urged the government to take important steps so that exports can be sent to Tibet via Tatopani.

“A number of points

mentioned in the industrial policy draft could have

supported this sector but the policy is yet to be passed,” he said. However State Minister for Industry, Dan Bahadur Chaudhary assured FHAN about the approval of the industrial policy soon.

According to the fiscal year 2008-09 data, the US (28.78 per cent), Germany (10.60 per cent), the United Kingdom (7.79 per cent), Japan (7.58 per cent) and France (6.12 per cent) are the top five countries where Nepali handicraft products are exported to.

Other countries where Nepali handicrafts are

exported are Canada, Italy,

Tibet, Switzerland, the

Netherlands, India, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Honkong, Taiwan,

China and Norway.

Nepse down, float index up

KATHMANDU: Bank of Kathmandu has sent the float index up, though marginally by 0.04

point to 65.95 points, despite a fall in the Nepse index.Nepse, after yesterday’s consolation gain, today lost a marginal 0.77 point to drop to 681.54 points. But the float

index gained.

The shareholders of Bank of Kathmandu gained Rs 76 per share today. Aroudn 4,866 shares of BoK changed hands today pushing the float index up by 0.04 point to 65.95 points. “If the share price of

any company that has more public shares increases, it can push up the float index even if the Nepse index falls,” said Rabindra Bhattarai, share analyst. BoK has 58 per cent — the highest public shares among commercial banks.

However, the banking index went down by 2.51 points to 708.75 points. The sensitive index also lost 0.66 points to drop

to 180.21 points.

Nepse has been poorly performing in the recent weeks, due to low investors’ confidence and high supply of shares in the secondary market.