Nepali private sector acquires trade advocacy skills for conducive business environment

31 août 2021
ITC News


Almost 20 representatives from various private business institutions in Nepal now have the skills and the knowledge to identify and advocate for removing trade barriers thanks to a three-day training organized by the EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Project (TIP), implemented by the International Trade Centre.

Policies and practices in international trade are dynamic, and advocating for the right policy reforms is crucial for traders to make the most of it. Similarly, it requires governments to formulate and implement policies to promote trade while fulfilling international obligations. The private sector plays an important role in advocating for policies that remove trade barriers. However, in countries such as Nepal, the private sector has been found to have limited capacity to do so.

“In fast-paced international trade, the need for efficiency and competitiveness at each step of the business supply chain is of utmost importance. Sometimes policymakers and regulators are not aware of the ground realities and the effects that their policies can have on businesses. This calls for the private sector in Nepal to play a proactive role in the public-private dialogue, and this training provides knowledge and skills to advocate for the desired policy and regulatory reforms,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, Director in Charge of the International Trade Centre’s Division of Market Development.

“Policy advocacy and public-private policy dialogue is important for Nepal as a member of WTO and LLDCs (landlocked, least developed countries). This kind of training is useful for us to improve our policy formulation process in the field of trade. The training provided knowledge, skills, and techniques to conduct trade advocacy,” said Govinda Bahadur Karkee, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies of Nepal.

“The EU prioritizes efforts to build the capacity of Nepal’s private sector to advocate for favorable trade policies and believes that doing so will help the country bridge its deficit in international trade. The training has given the private sector an opportunity to learn skills that it has long felt the need of,” said Mim Hamal, programme manager at the EU Delegation to Nepal.

About the project

EU-Nepal TIP, funded by the European Union (EU), aims to strengthen Nepal’s path towards more inclusive economic growth and greater integration into regional and global value chains.

As part of the project’s dedicated component on building private-sector capacity for trade-related public-private dialogue and reforms, the training built on the results of a diagnostic assessment of the advocacy capacity of trade support institutions in Nepal, where the need to receive capacity-building training on advocacy was expressed in unison. The project recently organized a virtual training on WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement for members of Nepal’s private sector.