The Nepal Government has submitted a list of 100 new products including garments, carpets, Pashmina and handicraft products to the US, as proposed items for inclusion in the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) facility.
As the US GSP facility for Nepal expired on July 31 this year, the US Government directed Nepal to provide a fresh list of new products for the proposed extension of the facility by October 4, 2013.
The proposed list was finalised by a team headed by Trade and Export Promotion Center (TEPC) Executive Director, Ishwari Ghimire, and was forwarded to the US Government by the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies of Nepal (MoCS), last week.
Jib Raj Koirala, Joint Secretary at the MoCS, said presently over 4,000 products enjoy GSP facility from the US, and the Government has now proposed further inclusion of 100 new items.
Garments, carpets, Pashmina and handicraft items included in the proposed list are major contributors to Nepal’s exports, and their inclusion in the revised GSP would help them qualify for preferential access to the US market.
At its peak, garments and Pashmina items contributed around 80 percent to Nepal’s overall exports to the US. However, the exports started declining after the expiry of the Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) in 2005, and the quota phase out.
Nepali garment and Pashmina entrepreneurs emphasize that export of Nepali items to the US shall not grow considerably unless they are included in the GSP list, which is expected to push Nepali garment and Pashmina exports to US by almost three times to Np Rs. 18 billion within three years as compared to present export average of about Rs. 6 billion.
During the financial year which ended on July 15, 2013, Nepal exported Pashmina goods worth Rs. 2.07 billion, carpets worth Rs. 6.075 billion and handicraft products worth NP Rs. 4.36 billion.
Nepal’s garment exports for the first 11 months (for which data is available) of the 2012-13 fiscal totalled Rs. 3.33 billion.