Boosting regional trade

  • Shortening of sensitive list must: Bairagi
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Dec 21, 2014-

Acting Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi has said shortening of the sensitive list and elimination of non-tariff barriers is a must to boost trade in the South Asian region.

Currently, regional trade stands at just 5 percent of total trade. South Asian nations have maintained sensitive lists containing up to 1,036 products and services. They have agreed to reduce the list by 95 percent by 2020.

Speaking at a programme organised by Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) here on Sunday, Bairagi said imposition of non-tariff barriers hinders trade growth even of other tariffs are lower. Nepal has been facing quality certificate-related barriers.

The programme was organised to discuss effective implementation of the 36-point declaration made in 18th Saarc Summit held in Kathmandu recently.

Bairagi said the declaration should be taken in a comprehensive package that should incorporate study-based inputs from the private sector. He said the ministry plan to formulate an action plan for the purpose. The 36-point declaration mainly talks about increasing connectivity, power trade, environment

protection, poverty alleviation, agriculture and food security and to strengthen the Saarc Development Fund for the effective implementation of regional and sub-regional projects.

According to MoFA, the government plans to focus on materialising economic agendas. “Realising position of the country in the regional and global supply chain, the government will formulate the policy by involving the private sector,” he said.

NCC President Rajesh Kaji Shrestha said an intensive work out has to be done on how to minimise non-tariff barriers along with improving people-to-people contact.Businessman Banwari Lal Mittal said Nepal should focus on materialising regional transportation through bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

He said Nepal has to focus on promoting services trading. “As the country has high potential in hydropower and tourism, including mountaineering, religious tourism and rafting, it has to focus on promotion of the sectors,” he said.

Published: 22-12-2014 09:31

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