Stakeholders repeated the need to review Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) within six months to align it with the third three-year interim plan that begins from next fiscal year.

Speaking at a workshop on ‘Mainstreaming Trade in Development Process’ organised by the Nepal Enhanced Capacities for Trade and Development (NECTRADE) and Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS), here today, they have also asked for mainstreaming of trade at political, sectoral, development partners level and local level to develop it as a main pillar of development.

Mainstreaming trade in itself is important as it would boost export and help reduce trade deficit with export diversification, said executive director at Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) – the executive secretariat at WTO – Ratnakar Adhikari.

Trade should be the main agenda and the main pillar of the development for all stakeholders, he added.

The speakers, however, called on not to remove the NTIS list.

We have included the products and services in the NTIS after a long homework,” said former commerce secretary Purushhottam Ojha said. “Removal of the products from the list will create further problem,” he said, adding that some products, however, could be added in the list.

The government had brought NTIS-2010 to boost export of the potential products and service that will help bridge ballooning trade deficit. The NTIS 2010 includes 19 products – some 12 goods and seven services – in the list on the basis of past export record and their potential.

Hailing the government’s move to recognize trade as one of the key pillars of economic development and poverty alleviation in the periodic plan, head of development cooperation at the German Embassy in Kathmandu Jacqueline Growth, said that developing partner’s country strategy has highlighted trade and its importance apart from constraint in mainstreaming trade.

However, the government and development partners must join hands to mainstreaming trade, she said, asking the government to institutionalise National Implementation Unit at NECTRADE under the ministry, and to mobilise and absorb trade assistance of the development partners.

EIF national programme manager at NECTRADE under the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Buddhi Prasad Upadhyay on the occasion, said that there is an important role of development partners, private sectors, local government and political parties to mainstream trade policy.

The development partners can help the private sector by supporting them in seeking market information and access at the international level as well as capacity building of the private sector,’ said director general of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Hemant Dawadi

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