Kathmandu, October 11
Minister for Commerce Meen Bahadur Bishwakarma has appealed industries to focus on quality and marketing of domestic products in a bid to increase country’s exports.
Informing that industrial development is the only way to make Nepal an independent economy, Minister Bishwakarma said local industries should produce high quality goods to promote country’s industrial sector.
Ministry of Commerce (MoC) had organised an interaction programme with Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI) today on issues related to Nepal’s widening trade deficit and export hurdles.
“Industrialists should assure that their products are export-competitive and both the government and private sector should work together to explore the markets for Nepali products,” said Bishwakarma, adding that high quality goods have huge market worldwide.
Informing that Nepali brands have been losing consumer loyalty as a few traders have been compromising on quality of products like pashmina and tea, Bishwakarma said that small and cottage industries should first focus on the quality of their products and should also adopt mass production strategy.
Minister Bishwakarma also insisted on the need for domestic industries to adopt latest technology in production of goods.
Similarly, State Minister for Commerce Nar Bahadur Chand said that domestic industries should assure that Nepali products reflect Nepali culture, traditions and ways of life. “If domestic products have cultural and traditional significance, they will enjoy higher demand in the international markets.”
Meanwhile, Shyam Prasad Giri, president of FNCSI, said ambiguous government policies are major setback for the growth of small and cottage industries in Nepal.
“The number of small and cottage industries is on the decline,” said Giri, adding clear government policies
is a precondition for domestic small and cottage industries to flourish.
Giri said that the number of small and cottage industries across the country have dwindled to almost 200,000 in recent years from more than 300,000 recorded five years ago.
Similarly, Giri also urged the government to assure financial accessibility to small and cottage industries. “Banks and financial institutions are often reluctant to grant loans to small and cottage industries and the interest rates of loan is also very high. They only prioritise big industries and larger investments,” he claimed.
A version of this article appears in print on October 12, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.