Export of NTIS products dismal

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Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/THT

Kathmandu, March 14

The government seems to have failed to put in ample effort to promote the export of ‘prioritised’ products under the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) as overseas trade of such products has not been impressive in recent months.

Trade statistics of the first seven months of 2018-19 released by the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), have shown that the export of four major products — cardamom, ginger, footwear and leather — among nine products identified by NTIS as having high export potential have dwindled significantly in the review period compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year. Similarly, the overall export of such ‘export potential’ products has increased merely by 0.1 per cent in the review period.

As per TEPC, export of leather has fallen by 51.3 per cent in the first seven months of fiscal year 2018-19 compared to the same period of the corresponding fiscal year. Though Nepal had exported leather products worth Rs 543 million in first seven months of 2017-18, export of leather products have been limited to Rs 264 million in the seven months of this fiscal year.

Similarly, the export of cardamom has come down by 43.8 per cent in the review period to Rs 1.85 billion. Nepal had exported cardamom worth Rs 3.3 billion in the first seven months in the last fiscal year.

Likewise, the export of footwear products has come down by 18.6 per cent in the review period to Rs 724 million while the export of ginger has come down by 13 per cent to Rs 349 million. The country had exported footwear and ginger worth Rs 889 million and Rs 401 million, respectively in the first seven months in fiscal 2017-18.

However, export of other five ‘export potential’ products identified by NTIS namely tea, medicinal and aromatic plants, pashmina, carpet and all
fabrics has increased slightly in the review period.

Experts have highlighted on need to work on entire value chain of a product, from their production process to market accessibility, in a bid to ensure impressive export of high
potential goods. “We have prioritised export of potential goods only in policies but done less to address key issues in the value chain that need to be addressed to boost exports, including various non-tariff barriers,” said Purushottam Ojha, former commerce secretary.

 

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