Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) launched
The Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) 2010 was launched by the former Rt. Hon'ble Prime Minister Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal on 24 June. The report (an updated version of Nepal Trade and Competitiveness Study 2004) is launched at a time when the trade and economic situation of the country portrays a bleak picture in export performance and balance of payment.
The NTIS 2010 stresses the need to develop Nepal's trade competitiveness and trade diversification. While the strategy points out on the need for better coordination among different state and non-state agencies, it also points out the challenge that Nepal has not been able to reap the possible benefits of the world trade system.
The strategy clearly suggests 19 priority export potentials for Nepal. Among them, the suggested 7 agro-based products include large cardamom, ginger, honey, lentils, tea, noodles, medicinal and essential oils. Similarly, the suggested 5 industrial products include handmade paper, silver jewelry, iron and steel, pashmina and wool products.
Likewise, the suggested 7 service areas include tourism, labour, health, education, IT & Business Process Outsourcing, engineering and hydro-electricity. In addition, the strategy identifies top ten market destinations for each of the potential products and service areas.
The NTIS was prepared with the support of UNDP, the Government of Finland, the Department for International Development (DFID), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva. Private sector organisations and academia were also involved in its preparation.
Mr. Madhav K. Nepal stated, "implementation of the strategy will provide substantial contribution to the overall national development and reduction in poverty by promoting export-led inclusive growth."
The implementation of the strategy will demand sizable resources that the Government alone cannot afford. The strategy recommends a collaborative effort by the Government to bring in the private sector, development partners and other stakeholders to achieve the intended common objectives for sustained economic prosperity.