Naindra Prasad Upadhaya, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, paid a courtesy call on the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo at his office in Geneva on 13 July. Upadhaya has led a Nepali delegation to participate in the 6th Global Review of Aid for Trade held at the WTO from 11 to 13 July, 2017.
During the meeting, Secretary Upadhaya expressed happiness at the successfully completion of the 6th Global Review of Aid for Trade on the theme ‘Promoting trade Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development’ held under the auspicious of the WTO.
Upadhaya appreciated the catalytic and dynamic role being played by the DG in strengthening the multilateral trading system. He highlighted the challenges Nepal is facing in export trade as an LDC.
He narrated that continued ballooning trade deficit, inadequate physical infrastructures, digital and physical connectivity, high cost of cross border trade and other supply-side constraints are still constraining the growth of export trade. He also touched upon the need of enhancing productive capacity to strengthen backward and forward linkages of the economy. Similarly, he underscored the importance of standards, conformity assessment, mutual recognition, calibration and the need of capacity building of LDCs to tackle these issues.
Appreciating the entry into force the TFA, Upadhaya emphasized that the AfT should be geared as an implementation tool for trade facilitation agreement (TFA), particularly in addressing supply-side constraints and enhancing physical and digital connectivity.
The DG highlighted the need and importance of integration of MSMES in the GVCs in which e-trade could play a pivotal role. He also highlighted the importance of investment in the LDCs as trade and investment reinforce with each other.
Also present in the meeting were Deepak Dhital, Ambassador of Nepal to Permanent Mission to Geneva, Toya Narayan Gyawali, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Mina Aryal, Deputy Permanent Representative (Commerce) Permanent Mission of Nepal to Geneva.
Dhital underscored the importance of industrialization, structural transformation and product diversification in the LDCs for their better integration into the global trading system. He said that the MC11 should deliver substantially on the agenda interests of LDCs putting development at the center. Ambassador underscored that strengthening special and differentiation treatment provisions should get priority attention among Member countries in MC11.
According to a Permanent Mission of Nepal to Geneva, Upadhaya participated as a key note speaker in ‘Enhancing Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal Region and Beyond’ and as a panelist, in ‘Trade Facilitation for a More Inclusive and Connected Asia-Pacific Region: Progress and Way Forward’. Likewise, Dhital participated as a panelist in ‘Sustainable Tourism and Trade Development.