Prospects for inclusion of readymade garments and hand-knotted carpets in the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) 2010 priority product list seem to be getting brighter.
In spite of the two product categories contributing a great share in the country’s overall exports, these items have not been included in the NTIS list of 19 priority items, and hence industrialists and exporters have continuously been lobbying for their inclusion in the list.
In view of this lobbying from exporters, the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies has decided to hold a mid-term review of NTIS 2010, and is also likely to review its product list, Chhabindra Parajuli, Under-Secretary at the Ministry said, Himalayan Times reported.
The review would assess and evaluate all the projects undertaken under the NTIS programme.
Meanwhile, the Ministry plans to soon begin research and analysis of products already included in NTIS and other products which have good prospects for inclusion in the reviewed list, he added.
According to exporters, special efforts need to be made to promote garments and carpets globally. However, waning exports and difficulties faced in finding new markets for products listed in NTIS list has made exporters uncertain regarding the benefits for an item in being listed in the priority product list.
For the Nepali financial year that ended on July 15, 2013, the country’s pashmina exports stood at Np Rs. 2.07 billion, compared to exports of above Rs. 1.9 billion in 2011-12. However, exports of most of the other products included in the NTIS priority list faced decline during the period.
The issue regarding inclusion of garments in the NTIS was first raised during a National Business Forum (NBF) held in October 2010. However, in September last year a High Level Business Forum headed by Nepal’s Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai resolved to include readymade garments in the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS), but then the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies has yet not accorded its final approval to the same.