September 29: Nepal Handicraft Entrepreneur Association Kathmandu (NHEAK) organized a group discussion with the motive of promoting export of handicraft products of Nepal. The discussion on the topic of “Roadmap for Upgrading Nepal to a Developing Country by 2026: Concerns of Cottage, Small and Medium Handicraft Industries” was inaugurated by chief guest of the programme Dr Ram Kumar Phuyal, who is also a member of the National Planning Commission.
On the same occasion, Phuyal said that since Nepal will attain the status of a developing country in 2026, there is a need for a clear roadmap for building the necessary infrastructure. He added that the discussions among a group of experts from the government, foreign agencies and the private sector, focusing on the same issue, will help the Government of Nepal to make necessary preparations.
Meera Bhattarai, president of the association, pointed out that Nepal attaining the status of a developing country from an underdeveloped country in 2026 will open avenues for various opportunities. She however said that there will be many challenges to face in the coming days. She expressed her concern saying that the export business of handicraft products might decline even more if they are deprived of concessions they are getting from different countries at present.
The team leader of the European Union trade and investment program, Dr. Claudius Preville said that since Nepal is going to be upgraded to a developing country from 2026, it would be relevant to prepare a roadmap for the country as the number of women employed in handicraft industries, especially domestic, small and medium industries is high.
Nita Neupane, senior program officer of International Labor Organization Nepal said that the handicraft sector is providing employment opportunities within the country by using indigenous resources and tools.
The discussion programme was organized by NHEAK with the support from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, EU Nepal Trade and Investment Program (EU/GIZ), ILO, ILO Japan Multi-bilateral Programme, FedEx and Manushi.