Integrated trade policy sought

Kathmandu, June 27:

Government officials, experts and private sector representatives have underscored the need to introduce an integrated trade policy that can address issues of production and trade, thereby helping reduce poverty.

Prachanda Man Shrestha, joint secretary at ministry of industry, commerce and supplies stressed that policy formulation needs to be based on national requirements, global trend

and expectations of the business community in a changed competitive global market. He was speaking at an interaction on ‘Trade Policy in Nepal’, organised by Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) in association with Enhancing Nepal’s Trade Related/UNDP, yesterday.

Shrestha said that ‘policy is a living document which means formulation and reform are continuous process based on analysis of its requirements’. Sectoral policy, including trade policy, should be owned by all stakeholders whether they are private or public agencies, he added.

He further said, “Policy can be structured in a conceptual framework to be more comprehensive with longer term perspective and it could be more specific by identifying areas or programmes and action in the medium term.”

Surendra Bir Malakar, president of NCC, said that the provisions enshrined in the existing trade policies are not being enjoyed by the private sector which has left a negative impact on exports. He suggested various issues to be incorporated for making the forthcoming trade policy business and investment-friendly.

Mohan Dev Pant, former commerce secretary said that a new trade policy should focus both on export and import, and not only on export.

He said that it has to be accommodative and integrated. The new trade policy should be investment friendly if we are to increase economic activities in the country, he said.

Gopal Tiwari, private sector development and communication officer at ENTReC/UNDP, said the private sector’s views need to be incorporated so that business and investment-friendly policy could be introduced.

Consultations with the private sector stakeholders will help the government and the project to fine-tune and make the trade policy modern and workable in the changed economic environment, said Tiwari.

Kamalesh K Agrawal, executive member of NCC, also urged to develop infrastructure to boost export, diversify exportable products and market and increase market access.