Govt moves to resurrect Nepal Business Forum

  • business ties
- Post Report, Kathmandu

May 16, 2018-

The government plans to restructure the Nepal Business Forum in a bid to breathe new life into the dormant institution. Established in 2010 to improve coordination between the government and the private sector, the forum has remained inactive for years.

The revamped forum will have a mechanism to facilitate country specific bilateral economic relationships in trade, investment, technology transfer and tourism.

The Nepal Business Forum will identify constraints, limitations and barriers to investment and business besides mobilising the concerned line agencies to find solutions to the problems through private-public partnership.

Speaking at a programme organised by the Nepal-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi said the government had moved to involve experts from the private sector working for different countries with which Nepal can boost economic ties.

“The plan is to develop country specific strategies to promote various economic areas with particular countries,” he said.

Nepal has failed to exploit the market potential due to lack of country specific strategies to boost trade despite being offered preferential treatment by several countries. The US government’s trade preference programme which provides duty-free access to 77 Nepali products, the zero tariff access provided by the European Union under the Everything But Arms scheme and duty-free quota-free access being offered by a number of other countries are some examples of the preferential treatment that Nepal has received.

However, Nepal has not been able to benefit from these programmes mainly due to supply constraints and inability to identify the market potentials of individual countries. “The government will be facilitating negotiations at the government level through the forum, besides providing the concerned logistic facilities while the private sector will receive assistance to increase investment in country specific exportable items,” Bairagi said.

Suyash Khanal, deputy executive director of the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), said Nepal needed to focus on benefitting from new export destinations such as Vietnam. “There is high potential for promoting exports of meat products, herbals and handicraft items like metal craft and paubha art and paintings,” Khanal said.

According to the TEPC, Nepal exported goods worth Rs510 million to Vietnam in the first nine months of the current fiscal year. “Vietnam is achieving a high rate of economic growth, and Nepal has high potential to increase exports to the country,” said Khanal who recently participated in the Vietnam Trade Fair.

Nandini Lahe Thapa, officiating chief executive officer of the Nepal Tourism Board, spoke about the possibility of attracting more tourists from Vietnam.

Published: 16-05-2018 07:26

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