Three new tools to connect Nepalese companies to international markets have now been launched in the country with support from the European Union.
In Nepal, small and medium-sized enterprises often cannot access new markets due to complex export procedural requirements and lack of knowledge of international quality standards. In addition, they struggle to find and use trade-related information to their advantage.
Two separate Coffee Export Guides for Europe and USA were launched in Kathmandu on 22 June 2022 to help Nepali coffee exporters navigate export related formalities and procedures more easily. Along with the Guides, a customized Market Access Map and a Nepal Quality for Trade Platform were also launched amid presence of high-level government officials, the EU Ambassador to Nepal, and the private sector.
While the Market Access Map facilitates small and medium-sized enterprises in navigating the ever-changing export and import regulations and requirements across over 190markets, the Nepal Quality for Trade Platform serves as a one-stop-shop allowing users to discover relevant quality standards for coffee in targeted markets, obtain guidance on quality-related topics, share best practices and connect with the relevant institution and individuals who can offer assistance and gain insights from those who have already been successful.
Speaking on the occasion, Ganesh Prasad Pandeya, Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies said that he believes that the tools will be immensely helpful for Nepali entrepreneurs. "These three tools launched today are going to be very useful for the entire business sector. Although Nepal is rich in resources and we have various goods that we can export, the lack of technical expertise creates hindrances for us. Such tools largely help us overcome these problems," he said. He also stated that Nepal needs greater international support to address the gaps the country is going to face as it is graduating from the status of the least developed to a developing country by 2026.
According to Nona Deprez, Ambassador of the European Union to Nepal, the tools prepared under the EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Program will provide a reliable guideline to Nepalese entrepreneurs for remarkable growth in their trade and export. "We want to encourage Nepal and Nepalese SMEs to benefit from such support. Nepalese coffee is loved a lot in Europe, we want more Europeans to enjoy Nepalese coffee," she said.
Meanwhile, Sharad Bikram Rana, Executive Director of Trade and Export Promotion Center (TEPC) cited that Nepal's trade deficit is increasing and this is worrisome. "Such tools, which have been launched today will be helpful in increasing Nepal's export," he said.
Apart from government officials, the Delegation of the European Union, and media representatives, over 80 representatives from the private sector attended the launching event organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies under the EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Program.