Public-private dialogue in Nepal highlights COVID-19 impact on trade
The Covid-19 pandemic has been dubbed as the biggest challenge to humanity since the Second World War. The pandemic, which affected almost all sectors in every corner of the world, affected the most poor and vulnerable, especially in least developed countries such as Nepal.
Therefore, Nepali members of the private sector and local government as well as federal officials discussed the impact of COVID-19 on international trade and manufacturing at a recent event in Nepal’s industrial hub Bhairahawa in Lumbini province.
Through a platform provided by the International Trade Centre’s EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Programme, funded by the European Union (EU), the participants discussed a draft report commissioned by the project to assess the true damage meted out by the Covid-19 pandemic. The report also includes recommendations on ways of coming out of the crisis and boosting the country’s trade with the rest of the world.
Following the event, representatives of the government agreed to step up measures to provide relief to industries affected by COVID-19. Members of the private sector, meanwhile, hoped the relief measures would be rolled out soon.
The project plans to organize a similar dialogue in Kathmandu soon before the report is finalized.
Arjun Prasad Pokharel, Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, said: “We would like to thank the private sector for providing their valuable inputs to the draft report. The government has already rolled out various measures to help the private sector recover from the pandemic. We are committed to providing additional relief to industries affected by COVID-19 and implementing the recommendations of the report.”
Krishan Prasad Sharma, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in Lumbini Province said: “The private sector welcomes the EU-Nepal TIP’s initiative to provide a platform to the private and public sector to discuss the important issue of post-COVID recovery. The discussions were really fruitful and we hope the government follows it up with action.”