Nepal's Export Basket, Cardamom in first export priority including other seven farm products

A government study has identified 19 goods and services as having the highest export potential and delisted a number of products that have traditionally been major exports. The Nepal Trade Integration Strategy 2010 launched on Thursday has highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of these 19 areas and their socio-economic impact.

Among the farm products having huge potential are cardamom, ginger, honey, lentil, tea, noodles, medicinal herbs and essential oils. Likewise, handmade paper, silver jewellery, iron and steel, pashmina and wool products are other products with high potential from the craft and industrial good segments.

Services including tourism, labour, information technology and business process outsourcing (BPO) services, health services, education, engineering and hydro-electricity have been identified as having high export potential.

The report has recommended that Nepal focus its short- and medium- term efforts on these 19 goods and services and that agro food and service exports get an even higher priority. Launching the report, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said that the government would give high priority to promoting the identified goods and services in the national development plans and polices. He also stressed the need for collaborated efforts on the part of all the stakeholders.

The report has also mentioned transit trade services, sugar, cement, dairy products and transformers as emerging sectors with possible export potential. The report said that due to changing market access conditions, traditional exports such as garments and carpets have suffered a heavy decline while a few others such as pashmina and wool products have survived. “New sectors such as iron and steel products, plastic granules, coffee, tea, spices and vegetables have emerged over the period 2004 to 2008,” the report said.

During the period 2004-08, exports of iron and steel products grew by 52.6 percent while essential oil exports also soared by 40.2 percent. Likewise, the export of instant noodles witnessed a rise of 36.9 percent while tea also went up by 36.1 percent. Ginger and cardamom exports went up by 34 percent and 16.2 percent respectively during the period. Nepal’s export destinations have also changed along with its export basket over the period.

India’s status as the largest export destination has been maintained, but the European Union and the US are becoming less important while Asian and Gulf countries have emerged as major markets for the country.

Source: KATHMANDU POST Daily

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