TEPC to become Trade Promotion Institution

Kathmandu, March 31

As envisioned by the Trade Policy 2015, the government is gearing up to transform the existing Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) into Trade Promotion Institution (TPI), making it a more vibrant, responsible and research-oriented government organisation working in the country’s trade sector.

A government committee formed under the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) to study and recommend the government about the legal, economic and organisational aspects of transforming TEPC into TPI, submitted its report to Minister for Commerce Romi Gauchan Thakali today.

The four-member study team comprised of then Joint Secretary of MoC Ravi Bhattarai, Deputy Executive Director of TEPC Tej Singh Bista, and MoC Under Secretaries Manoj Kumar Acharya and Ramji Danai.

Receiving the report from the committee, Minister Thakali said that MoC will take necessary steps to change TEPC into TPI after analysing the report and taking feedback from other stakeholders.

The report, prepared by the government committee, has highlighted the need to transform TEPC into TPI to make the institution stronger, research-based and responsible for identifying and determining all trade-related issues of the country.

“The TEPC today is inclined to only keeping trade database of the country, and organising different trade fairs and trade promotional activities. It has not been able to play any significant role in identifying and solving various trade-related issues of the country,” MoC Undersecretary Manoj Kumar Acharya said.

According to Acharya, any institution looking after trade should be dynamic and vibrant like how international trade is at the moment. The report has envisioned TPI as an autonomous body with wider responsibility in trade sector, which includes conducting extensive research on Nepal’s trade, identifying trade potential of the country and addressing trade barriers, giving entrepreneurship development training and organising capacity building events across the country, and finding out trade potential of every exportable domestic product and marketwise demand of products, among others.

The TPI will also be responsible in determining Nepal’s position and agenda while signing bilateral and multilateral trade and business treaties, as per Acharya.

Moreover, the report also has recommended MoC to form a separate TPI Act to regulate TPI, define its objectives and set jurisdictions. Similarly, the study committee has also recommended MoC to form a TPI steering committee chaired by the commerce minister along with the governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and secretaries from Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Industry (MoI) and MoC as members.