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Govt asked to push for duty-free access of local garments to US
11
Oct '11
The Nepal Government has been urged to press the case for earning duty-free access for Nepali garments to the US markets, to boost its exports.

Garment Association–Nepal (GAN) has urged the Government to lobby for earning duty-free access for Nepali garments to the US during the Trade Investment and Framework Agreement (TIFA) meeting, to be held during December this year.

In early 2010, the association filed a petition through the Nepali Embassy in Washington, seeking Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for Nepali goods in the US, which is still under consideration.

The association has urged the Government to petition its case for earning the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Nepal, during the Secretary-level talks. According to GAN, TIFA could be the best channel to create public opinion for the GSP eligibility campaign.

GAN said, the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, which participated in the earlier TIFA meeting, has not discussed the issues with stakeholders. It added that the Ministry even failed to timely follow-up on the TIFA meeting.

According to the association, the public and private sectors are still not aware of the outcomes of the first TIFA meeting. It said the Ministry should have discussed the issue with all the interested parties and invited their suggestions to plan its future strategy.

GAN has, however, submitted its suggestions to the Ministry which it hopes would be taken up for discussion during the November Secretary-level talks to be held prior to the December TIFA meeting.

The association stated that Nepal should prioritize three main issues, namely, the one related to earning duty-free access to the US market by qualifying for the GSP facility, next speed up the marketing efforts to encourage and boost exports of existing Nepali goods to the US markets, and lastly, put forth an idea regarding introduction of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement on mutual basis.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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