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Declining trend of garment exports to US remains unchanged
Aug '08
Readymade garment (RMG) exports of Nepal to US witnessed an astounding fall of more than 80 percent in the month of July in comparison to January with transactions amounting to only US $519,524. The month of July has seen the worst perfomance of the industry for the whole of 2008.

In the month of January, country's export to the US market stood at $2.650 million which dropped to $2.014 million in February, plunged to $991,820 in March, recovered to $1.266 million in April, again fell to $1.109 million in May and dropped futher to $929,366.08 in June.

An observation made by experts show that the 'tarai banada', the terrorist movement in Nepal had severely impacted exports preventing manufacturers from delivering their orders on time resulting in their losing out on new orders to other countries.

The Government of US had removed quota system for Nepali garments since 2005 but domestic apparel exporters failed to seize the markets that were made open to competition. Losses incurred thereafter only explain the reason why such large numbers of manufacturing and export enterprises were shutting down.

There were some 1,200 exporters at a time when Nepali garments created a huge demand in the US, however, most of these have closed down in the recent years, virtually bring the RMG sector on the verge of collapse.

Despite numerous efforts made by the Government and private sectors for capturing free market access in US, the results were not in the least encouraging. Although Government is heading for a structural revision, formulating strategic as well as pragmatic, liberalized and market-oriented trade and industrial policy, more is required in terms of practical measure.

Besides, there is also a dire need of reinforcing exports of both traditional and non-traditional products to some of the new markets for balancing trade inequality.

The only viable solution to bring even the slightest of improvement in the present trade situation is to have a public-private partnership approach and development of specialized projects for restoring the pristine glory of the sector.

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