Nepal to update trade competitiveness study

Kathmandu, January 28:

Nepal is set to update its Diagnostic Trade and Investment Study (DTIS) to broaden the scopes of trade and link it with overall development activities thus providing support to alleviate poverty. The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) has requested some donor agencies including the UNDP to assist in updating the DTIS, which was first brought up in 2003 as Nepal’s Trade Competitiveness Study.

Commerce secretary Purushottam Ojha appreciated the support of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) through the Integrated Framework (IF) for the capacity building of least developed countries (LDCs) like Nepal. He expressed that Nepal would be able to transfer benefits of such initiatives to the grassroots and people with the introduction of Enhanced IF (EIF), being implemented soon.

“The updating DTIS will help us identify key areas for intervention and resources needed for identified activities therein. It will help in achieving the goal of poverty alleviation through sustainable growth and integration of trade at regional and multilateral levels,” he said speaking at a workshop on EIF organised by the Enhancing Nepal’s Trade Related Capacity at MoICS in association with WTO today in Kathmandu.

UNDP Nepal country director Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau stressed the need for Nepal to take a step back and review progress made since the previous DTIS, accession into WTO, impact of SAARC and other regional memberships, especially new opportunities in neighbouring and international markets.

There are huge opportunities for Nepal to tap into new resources and expertise to make a quantum leap in the strengthening and expansion of its trade agenda in all areas, institutions, system and infrastructures with the aid for trade and EIF windows. Making a presentation, Panos Antoakakis, economic affairs officer at WTO said that EIF assist countries to mainstream trade into development plans and provide a structure for the coordinated delivery of trade related technical assistance.