Gyawali says Nepal attaches high importance to ITT-LLDC

Kathmandu, June 12

Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said Nepal attaches high importance to the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries.

Stating that the establishment of the think tank was a milestone achievement for the LLDCs, he said it had created an enormous hope among the land-locked developing countries.

“We believe that the organisation like ITT should have been established long ago, but it is never late to start a good thing. ITT represents this good beginning for our collective good. We believe that the Think Tank can and should play a critical role in promoting the interests of LLDCs,” said Gyawali addressing the inaugural Ministerial Conference of the International Think Tank for the Landlocked Developing Countries yesterday in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

As the first ever inter-governmental body of the LLDC group, the think tank has an important responsibility. It should be fully operationalised so that it can contribute, through top-quality research and advocacy, towards improving the ability of landlocked developing countries to build capacity and benefit from international trade, according to the minister.

“Focus in this regard should be on carrying out in-depth research on converting ‘landlockedness’ into ‘landlinkedness’ and on various ways and options the LLDCs can diversify their economies,” he said, adding that it was also important that the ITT should focus on attracting more foreign direct investment by conducting more research on building capacities, raising confidence of investors by minimising risks and creating more conducive domestic environment.

Underscoring the need for studies and research on smoothing transit facilities and associated issues, he said the ITT’s role in equipping and preparing our representatives and diplomats in international trade negotiations could be crucial. The minister also pledged to make a modest one-time contribution of $30,000 for the think tank

“Support from all sides will be important. We need to expand our outreach to encourage all fellow LLDCs to join the Think Tank. I also call upon all the developed land-locked countries as well as transit countries, development partners and international organisations to continue their solidarity for LLDCs and support the think tank,” he said.