Industry Minister says Nepal Failed to Secure Expected Benefits from WTO   

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Industry Minister says Nepal Failed to Secure Expected Benefits from WTO   

April 23: Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Damodar Bhandari, has said Nepal failed to secure expected benefits from international trade despite the completion of 20 years of its membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).    
Speaking at a programme on "expectations, achievements and future course of action in 20 years of Nepal's WTO membership" organised by the Ministry on Tuesday, the minister said, "There is no situation for least developed countries despite some exceptions to secure anticipated expectations from the WTO aiming to ensure benefits of the world economy to the developing countries and an increased market access for them."    
He underlined the need to guarantee meaningful participation of government, private, and related research institutes and stakeholders concerned to ink a bilateral trade and investment agreement with nations with potential for exports from Nepal.    
He advised Nepal should make efforts to explore potential for international trade and implement objective and country-wise export strategies.    
He also pointed out the need for wider dialogues and discussions with the participation of public-private sectors to navigate ways for awareness in industrial and trade sectors.    
There is a wider discussion at the national level when expected achievements from the WTO remain unmet, according to the minister.    
“We accept the WTO standards, but in the context of Nepal, such standards have not been implemented. We are overwhelmed by the burden of import trade. We have to liberate ourselves from this situation. The lack of Nepal's presence in world trade should be analyzed meticulously,” he said.
Acknowledging Nepal's weak presence in world trade, Commerce Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire insisted on policy-level and strategic interventions toward that end. He stressed the need to increase domestic production.    
Industry Secretary Krishna Bahadur Raut said Nepal could not secure the right benefits of WTO while other speakers including the Chairperson of Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries, Umesh Prasad Singh; Vice Chair of Federation of Export Entrepreneurs Nepal (FEEN) and Joint Secretary Leela Prasad Sharma expressed concerns over the country's increasing size of imports, thus leading to a ballooning trade deficit in the absence of lack of Nepal's access to the world trade market.    
They called for replacing the import-based trade. -- RSS 

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