MoCS to issue strategy paper in May

Kathmandu, March 5:

The Nepal Development Strategy Paper (NDSP) that covers all sectors related to trade is now scheduled to be released in May.

Speaking during a workshop on ‘Preparation of Nepal Trade Integration Strategy 2009’, organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Enhancing Nepal’s Trade-related Capacity/UNDP, National Planning Commission (NPC) undersecretary Baikuntha Aryal said, “As trade is identified as the leading sector, we have outlined different areas where trade can be diversified in terms of country and commodity in the three-year interim plan.”

Aryal said, “Trade policy is also in the finalization process which will include integrated customs post, customs procedure uniformity in particular regions and the formation of an export promotion fund.”

Major strategies of trade in the three-year interim plan will be to make the supply side strong by increasing production, developing infrastructure, trade facilitation service, special emphasis on production and export of goods

based on traditional skill, Aryal said.

Competitive productive capacities are important for doing business/trade in the international context and Least Developed Countries lack capacities, said Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) secretary Puroshottam Ojha. He said there was lack of infrastructure like road, ports and telecommunications that could unlock producers’ link to global markets. There are inefficient institutions like customs, taxes and product standards that drive up the cost of doing business and also knowledge gap such as producers being unaware of market opportunities.

“ Increased market access opportunities through WTO membership and and bilateral trade pacts alone cannot be sufficient to produce desired outcomes in these countries,” said Ojha.

ENTReC/MoCS/UNDP International Consultant Thierry Noyelle said, “From 1991-2000 goods export quadrupled from Rs 13.8 billion to Rs 55.3 billion while from 2000-2007

goods export was nearly flat from Rs 55.3 billion to just Rs 58.5 billion.”