Pashmina producers in Nepal are being given a boost in exports through assistance in product and market development, including marketing their goods under a collective trademark, as part of a new trade support project led by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support (PETS) project was launched in Kathmandu to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to produce high-quality goods under the Chyangra Pashmina trademark. The aim is to promote greater visibility of pashmina products to garner international interest from buyers.
Speaking at the launch of the PETS project, ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘This project is an important step towards broadening global recognition of the pashmina sector in Nepal. This initiative will not only help create a strong reputation for the country’s pashmina products, it will also open up new export opportunities for SMEs.’
The project aims to achieve three outcomes: support the Nepal Pashmina Industry Association (NPIA) in providing sustainable services to its members and stakeholders; enable Chyangra Pashmina manufacturers to increase exports; and encourage buyers to recognize the Chyangra Pashmina label as a niche luxury product.
The Ministry of Commerce and Supply worked with ITC to identify the pashmina sector as a priority for export development. As a result, ITC will help the NPIA to develop an organizational plan, improve its services portfolio and secure additional funding. ITC will also provide training to integrate goat farmers into the pashmina value chain, and build their capacity to monitor the Chyangra Pashmina trademark. It will work with manufacturers to strengthen their design skills, and help them to grow their presence in existing markets while identifying new ones.
ITC works with producers in similar sectors around the world to increase exports. For example, ITC trains African cotton ginners to produce high-quality cotton, and connects them with buyers in Asia who process the cotton in their spinning mills. In Peru, ITC worked with alpaca manufacturers, in particular women entrepreneurs, to help create new products and designs that are competitive in global markets.
The Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support Project is being implemented by ITC, the Ministry of Commerce and Supply, and the NPIA, with funding from the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF). The EIF has been critical in helping build capacity within the government to implement the project.
‘And this is why the international community has a strong interest in continuing its support for the EIF post-2015,’ Ms. González said. ‘The demand from least developed countries to translate their priorities into action will only increase.’