“Made in Nepal’ could be very powerful branding tool that you should take advantage of,” said US Ambassador to Nepal, Aliana B Teplitz speaking at a workshop on ‘Enhancing Nepal-US Trade by Utilizing Trade Preference Program’ jointly organized by Pavilion Group and the US Embassy in Nepal.
“This trade preference program creates an opportunity to expand the trade between the two countries. Nepali exporters and businesses have duty-free access only until 2025 to the US market for certain kinds of Nepali exports,” said ambassador Teplitz, urging the private sector and businesses to take advantage of ‘this unique program’.
According to data of the Office of the US Trade Representative, Nepal exported a total of $89 million of goods to the US in 2016 while the total import stood at $41 million, running a trade surplus of $48 million. Out of the total export, Nepal exported $6.75 million of goods under the duty-free tariff benefits as part of the trade preference program. My Republica reports the US ambassador was optimistic that the volume of export under the trade preference program could be significantly increased in the near future.
“The market potential for these products is obviously much greater. And, we hope that the 6.75 million can be doubled, if not tripled or quadrupled in the near future,”said ambassador Teplitz.
“Much hard work remains to be done to take maximum benefits from the program. Much of that work is going to fall to the Nepal’s private sector and entrepreneurs to find the opportunities, create the product and reach out to interested buyers in the US to ensure that more Nepali exports reach the US and ensure that jobs are created here in Nepal,” she added. She also said that it was also the responsibility of the government to create an environment that supported economic growth.
“If more Nepali products are exported to the US, there would be high demand for these products,” she said: “‘Made in Nepal’ could be very powerful branding tool that you should take advantage of.”
Also speaking at the event, Minister for Industry, Sunil Bahadur Thapa, said that there was nothing in the list of 77 products enjoying the duty-free access that could not be possibly produced and exported to the US.
Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Secretary of Ministry of Commerce, said that enhancing the capacity of the small and micro enterprises to produce quality goods was a must to optimize the privilege provided by the US government in accessing the duty-free market.