Handmade paper fair on February 24-26

Kathmandu, February 22:

Nepal Handmade Paper Association is organising a buyer-seller meet and handmade paper and paper production exhibition-2008 in Kathmandu on February 24-26.

“The exhibition aims at promoting the Nepali handmade papers in domestic and international markets,” said Dr Milan Dev Bhattarai, president of Nepal Handmade Paper Association.

Fifteen companies are participating at the exhibition with their innovative and trendy designs. “Similarly, six major global buyers have already confirmed their participation,” informed Bhattarai.

“Learning the lessons from Nepali garments and pashmina’s fate, Nepali handmade paper is registered in the European Union (EU),” he said adding that the brand registration has also ensured the quality of Nepal’s product. After registration of ‘Nepalokta’ — with assistance from HANDPASS and GTZ/PSP RUFIN —as a Nepali brand in the EU, the unique Nepali handmade paper has a legal identity in the international market. “In the domestic market, government’s apathy has hurt the sale of Nepali handmade papers,” Bhattarai said adding that its durability has lured the successive governments centuries ago use Nepali handmade papers for government documents.

Most probably, the only indigenous product that uses raw materials traditional skills and manpower of Nepal, Nepalokta — the new spirit in paper — has also helped reduce poverty.

“It has also become a tool for the poverty alleviation,” he added.

It is produced in 18 of the remotest districts of Nepal, whereas its top five export destinations are USA (28 per cent), UK (20.4 per cent), France (16.2 per cent), Japan (6.1 per cent) and Switzerland (5.1 per cent). According to FAHN, these five countries account for 76 per cent of total exports. The three-day long exhibition is supported by HANDECEN/FHAN in cooperation with European Union and GTZ/PSP-RUFIN.