Minister launches Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support project

Minister launches Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support project

Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat launched Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support project formally today. The project is aimed at promoting unique Chyangra Pashmina brand in the international market and strengthening the competitiveness of the domestic pashmina sector. The $2-million three-year project, financed by the World Trade Organisation Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is being implemented by International Trade Centre (ITC), under the coordination of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies and support from Nepal Pashmina Industries Association. Currently, domestic pashmina sector is struggling to compete in the international market as the exports dropped to Rs 2.18 billion in the last fiscal year compared to Rs 3.92 billion in the fiscal year 2000-01. "The country offers lots of products – like pashmina – with export potential," Mahat said, adding that it is high time the government support initiatives taken to market such products abroad by providing incentives. Asking the development partners to continue extending 'generous support’ to Nepal as the country has ‘limited resources to provide incentives’, he called on the development partners too to support boost Nepali exports. As of today, the Chyangra Pashmina trademark has been registered in 41 countries and the registration in five more countries in in pipeline, according to the association. The market was flooded by fake pashmina forcing the association to register the trade mark in the international market. One of the goals of the project is to generate awareness about Chyangra Pashmina brand and trademark in international markets, apart from The ITC – that is implementing the project – will work with the World Intellectual Property Organisation to protect the trademark registered in various countries, apart from supporting the Chyangra Pashmina enhance the competitiveness by strengthening the capacity of the manufacturers boost their exports. The ITC will support the association in analysing backward linkages like pashmina fibre supply situation in goat farming areas in the upper mountains, the ITC said, adding that one of the possible ways of achieving the goal is by linking the project with the Asian Development Bank’s High Mountain Agribusiness and Livelihood Improvement project. The ITC will also help association develop business plans and project proposals, and linking farmers to processors. "We intend strengthen the product and design development capacities of pashmina manufacturers at institutional and enterprise level,” ITC executive director Arancha González said, adding that their intention is to help shop owners in Kathmandu to transform their existing retail spaces into modern attractive shops, which provide an authentic shopping experience. Likewise, EIF executive director Ratnakar Adhikari, on the occasion, said that the private sector and other stakeholders should join hands and contribute to make the project a success. "The financial support extended by the EIF is only catalytic," he added. Thanking for the support, president of the association Pushpa Man Shrestha expressed commitment to provide all support and cooperation to ensure successful roll out of the project.
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