NEPAL

Nepal stresses on power of trade to realize 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Posted 4 months ago by Adarsha Devkota

Minister for Commerce Meen Bahadur Bishwakarma delivered a statement at a plenary session of the 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO at Buenos Aires on December 12, 2017.

Minister Bishwakarma said that Nepal is a staunch supporter of rule-based, transparent, inclusive and non–discriminatory multilateral trading system (MTS) as enshrined in the objectives and principles of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing WTO, Permanent Mission/Embassy of Nepal in Geneva, Switzerland stated in a press release.

Acknowledging the role of trade in poverty reduction, job creation and achieving sustained growth and economic diversification, the Commerce Minister underlined the need for establishing a balanced, transparent and inclusive world trade order for which the existing gaps inherent in the physical, digital and regulatory regimes must be fulfilled.

The Minister referred to the important role of trade as driver of development and underscored the need to utilize the power of trade to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which is people-centric. He warned that the exports from LDCs has now fallen below one percent level against the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs target of raising the export trade to 2 percent of global total.

Similarly, Hon. Minister emphasized the need of faithful implementation of past decisions including those of Hong Kong, Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Conferences, specifically related to duty free quota free market access, preferential rules of origin, LDC Services waiver, TRIPS waiver and Trade Facilitation Agreement, among others.

He emphasized the need of leveraging International Support Mechanisms (ISMs), including the EIF and Aid for Trade to strengthen the technical, regulatory, institutional and infrastructural capacities of LDCs.

Minister attended a High Level programme on Real Market Access for LDCs Services Exports organized by the UNCTAD on the same day (12 December).

Speaking as a high level panelist, he said that services sector has emerged as high potential sector for export diversification and enhancing competitiveness as well as a major contributor to the economy, including in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Appreciating the notifications of preferences by 24 WTO Members’ under the LDC the LDC services waiver, Minister underscored the need of effective implementation of the LDC services waiver scheme by addressing the supply side constrains and establishing a comprehensive, structured and permanent support system with constructive engagement of development partners.

Mr. Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce participated a programme, as a panelist, on Rapid e-Trade Readiness Assessments: A tool to help LDCs Drive Economic Growth, Inclusive Trade and Job Creation from e-commerce organized under the auspices of ICTSD and UNCTAD. A copy of the new report was handed over to the Commerce Secretary on the occasion.

Appreciating the e-trade Readiness Assessment Report prepared with the support of EIF and UNCTAD, he stressed to ensure that the e-commerce should be inclusive and beneficial to all to stop resistance from the large part of the world community basically the one who are left behind. Secretary Ghimire also highlighted that without addressing the physical and digital gap, rule-making in e-commerce would not bring benefit to the people of weaker economies and LDCs.

In his comment, Mr. Deepak Dhital, Ambassador/PR of Nepal to UN and WTO in Geneva expressed thanks to UNCTAD for preparing e-readiness assessment report for Nepal. Commenting on the approach taken by the report, he said that it would have been better if the e-commerce tools assessed under the seven parameters especially developed for the purpose by UNCTAD were able to show links with the actual tradable goods and services on offer or with high potential for offer.

Deepak Dhital participated as a panelist at a side event organized by CUTS International and spoke on the needs of LDCs and small developing economies. He emphasized the centrality of development for LDCs and the need to complete the implementation of the Doha Development Agenda in good faith. He equally emphasized on implementation of the all past ministerial decisions and declarations in LDCs favour more effectively and in good faith to make sure that there is outcome on the ground.

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