WTO to review Nepal's progress on trade development
KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), an initiative of the World Trade Organization (WTO) working to enhance trade capacity of the least developed countries (LDCs), is soon reviewing the progress made by Nepal on exploiting trade potential since the program was implemented in the country in 2010.
Toya Narayan Gyawali, joint secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS), said EIF board has initiated the process for hiring an independent team to review the progress that Nepal has made after institutionally starting the EIF program under MoCS.
“The review will measure the achievements Nepal made after implementation of the EIF program,” Gayawali told Republica. The review would also help policymakers compare the program´s output with other LDCs that have received similar support from WTO to improve trade.
Nepal has received two tiers of support from the EIF. Under which tier-1was implemented eyeing to upgrade the quality of human resources, prepare study reports on trade and development, formulate project supporting country´s supply capacity, whereas under tier-2 package, it has received support on developing trade related infrastructure.
“The EIF is reviewing Nepal´s progress as part of its country review decision. As per the decision, it would gauge output of its support to all the 40 countries that have implemented its program,” Gayawali said.
Under the tier-1 support, Nepal has developed Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) 2010, identifying 19 products -- 12 goods and seven services -- in which the country enjoys special competitive edge to boost trade and ultimately achieve the goal of poverty reduction.
The registration of Chyangra Pashmina, a collective trademark of Nepali pashmina products, in more than 40 countries of Europe, America and Asia too was done with support from EIF.
Likewise, recently the government had also successfully received fresh support from EIF to enhance production and improve the value chain of ginger -- one of the niche exportable products included in NTIS. MoCS has also sought EIF assistance for the development of medicinal herbs processing industry in the country.
"The independent review will help us to plug the loopholes that are putting downward pressure on the country´s trade," said Gyawali.
Though traders and farmers are yet to witness tangible results of EIF initiative, officials believe Nepal´s status in the review will be better than other LDCs in terms of formulating policies and designing tools to boost export of the goods and services.