EIF seeks more participation of non-state actors in NTIS implementation

Republica. May. 3, 2014

The state and the private sector have been discussing effective participation of non-state actors to implement Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS), which is going to be reviewed till mid-2014.

NTIS is a trade policy introduced by the government in 2010 with the financial and technical support of Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), a multi-donor program, which supports trade development of least developed countries (LDCs).

The project was established through the joint initiative of the World Trade Organization, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

NTIS has incorporated seven service components and 12 products, among which three products -- Ginger, Pashmina and Medicinal Herbs and Aromatic Plants (MAPS) -- are selected for the second tier program with the support of EIF.

Nepal is only country among the LDCs to get three programs.

Officials from the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) and the private sector entrepreneurs, experts and media persons have gathered on the same forum provided by Nepal Economic Association and CUTS International Geneva with support from EIF project to seek effective means to implement NTIS. Inaugurating a two-day program titled ´Non-State Actors in the EIF: Towards a Roadmap´ on Friday, Commerce Secretary Narayan Gopal Malego stressed on the public-private partnership for the trade development.

"Government is only a facilitator for the private sector and other concerned stakeholders," said Malego. "We are extending hand to the private sector and civil society." Malego also said that the trade has wider impact on the national economy, and that Nepal will have to boost its export to prevent ever-growing trade deficit. President of Nepal Economic Association Prof. Bishwambher Pyakuryal, highlighted that the country should have to focus on the product development.

"We are unable to fulfill the quality and quantity of products demanded by third countries," said Pyakuryal, adding "We also need to conduct homework to break non-tariff barriers created by various importing countries and develop adequate infrastructures."

He also said that the first tier program under which NTIS is being implemented intends to build capacity of implementation units.

He also gave an example of how only very few of Nepali herbal products get through lab test and other various procedures for expert.

Pyakuryal reveals that only 16 out of 100 herbal products get certificate for the export. "We should have to work hard for the quality enhancement of the products and accreditation of Nepali labs," Pyakuryal further said, "The country doesn´t have an internationally accredited lab yet."

Pyakuryal also added that Cambodia and Lao People´s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) are implementing the same model of trade strategy with effective participation of the private sector and other non-state actors. EIF aims to increase the participation of non-state actors in the execution of the projects it supports.

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