Nepal's readymade garment exports could exceed $1 billion, resulting in the direct employment of 100,000 people even if the industry can tap even 0.05 per cent of the potential $200 billion US market, according to a recent study.
Nepal's Ministry of Industry, in collaboration with the UK Aid funded Samarth, had commissioned an assessment on country's garment industry after the introduction of duty-free, quota-free access to some 66 items to the market in the US, which was the largest market for Nepal's garment industry in the past.
A firm based in Bangladesh, which has carried out similar studies in Bangladesh and Ethiopia, was assigned to assess the current situation and competitive scenario of Nepal's garment industry through discussions with all relevant stakeholders in the garment industry.
A validation workshop was held in Kathmandu on Wednesday to share the findings with the stakeholders to shape coherent strategies and action plans that the industry actors and government can pursue in the near future to promote the industry.
A comparative study with Bangladesh (an established market) and Ethiopia (an emerging market) showed that Nepal had a much higher minimum wage and transport lead time, and the government policies were much more export-friendly in those countries compared to Nepal, according to a press release.
“However, the findings pointed out that Nepal can compete in the global market by diversifying away from USA and producing small quantities of customised and specialised products with higher profit margins to cover higher costs.”
The complete report will be ready by the end of July and will be submitted to all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Industry, for implementation, the release said. (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India