List of export goods, services to be cut

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Dec 4, 2014-

The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) plans to keep fewer goods and services in the list of the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) in a bid to boost their exports.

There are 19 goods and services listed in the NTIS as having high export potential, and the ministry wants to bring the number down to 15. But it did not disclose which products or services would be removed from the elite roster.

The ministry said 10 goods and five services would be retained in the list. Currently, it contains 12 goods—large cardamom, ginger, honey, lentil, tea, instant noodle and medicinal herbs/essential oils under agro products and handmade paper, silver jewellery, iron and steel, pashmina and wool products under manufactured products.

The seven services are tourism, labour, IT and business process outsourcing, health, education, engineering and hydroelectricity. Exports of most of the 19 NTIS-listed goods and services have been disappointing over the last four years.

Toya Narayan Gyawali, joint secretary at the ministry, said a steering committee meeting recently decided to reduce the number of items. “The time has come to revise the list of products as we believe that limiting their number could boost exports to a large extent.”

He added a review would be made with the recommendation of the private sector. “We are currently holding consultations with the stakeholders concerned including donor agencies. After that, we will come to a conclusion on which products will be out of the NTIS list,” he said.

The NTIS is one of the ambitious programmes of the government designed to promote exports of products that have a high export potential. In the last fiscal year, exports of NTIS products rose a mere 2.08 percent to Rs 27.41 billion, according to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre.

Ministry officials said most of the service-related businesses had also failed to expand despite being given utmost priority.

According to the ministry, two sets of indicators with 10 sub-headings have been formed to identify the products to be listed in the new NTIS. Under the first indicator named Export Potential Measures, the ministry has included volume of exports, export growth trend, export potential index rank, potential value added and potential export destination diversification.

Products contributing to regional development, impact on environmental balance, employment opportunity, gender development and promotion of skills and earning intensity have been considered under the indicator nam-ed Inclusive and Sustainable Development Measures.

Gyawali said they would decide whether to exclude existing products or include new products based on the assessment under these indicators. “We have given more weight to indicators like export potential, value addition, socio-economic impact and production growth rate.”

The 19 products in the present NTIS 2010 were included on the basis of four indicators—export performance, world market condition, domestic supply situation and socio-economic impact. “We have increased the coverage of the indicators to give more emphasis to goods and services that have been creating an impact on larger prospects to the domestic economy.”

Published: 05-12-2014 09:36

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