Access of landlocked countries to rich markets stressed

Kathmandu, January 27

National Planning Commission member Swarnim Wagle said Nepal was not only landlocked but also a policy-locked country due to which it had failed to reap benefits from the economic success of neighbours like India and China.

Speaking at a seminar 'Night of the Ideas' here yesterday, Dr Wagle said Nepal needed to focus on modern tradable services, which include not only the tourism but also the manufacturing sector. "Due to the rise of Asia, rich and prosperous markets are not far away and we must take advantage of this," he added.

The 'Night of the Ideas' is a worldwide debate, which was organised for the first time in Nepal by the French Embassy, Nepal Economic Forum and the Alliance Française de Katmandou. This year's theme is 'A Common World' and the subject of the debate taking place in Kathmandu was 'Economic Development of Landlocked Countries'.

Addressing the event, Observer Research Foundation Fellow Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury stressed on the importance of Bhutan Bangladesh India Nepal connectivity projects. She dwelled on how such projects were starting to make positive progress in transforming landlocked areas into land-linked ones.

In his opening remark, French Ambassador to Nepal Yves Carmona opined that being landlocked was not a curse in a world increasingly shaped by trade, globalisation and interaction.

On his part, Pierre Jacquet of Global Development Network said being landlocked was not being doomed and what mattered was access to markets and the size of these markets. "Rather than focusing on being landlocked, we must focus on access to markets and the size of markets a country has access to," he added.