Monday, January 16, 2012

SAFTA group of experts to meet in Kathmandu

The Eighth Meeting of group of experts on SAARC Agreement on Trade in Service is beginning from tomorrow in Kathmandu.
Nepal is planning to offer them to invest in some service sectors that are included in the Nepal Trade Integrated Strategy (NTIS).
NTIS has highlighted 19 priority export potentials for Nepal including 12 goods and seven service sectors; tourism, labour, health, education, IT and Business Process Outsourcing, engineering and hydro-electricity.
However, the budget has restricted Nepali investors to invest in foreign countries, even if member countries open up their markets.
Nepal has already agreed to open up 70 sub-sectors of services for other member countries under WTO rules and the meeting might decide on additional sub-sectors of service for foreign investors.
The South Asian regional block's member states have already made their initial offer to open over 170 sub-sectors of service for foreign investments under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) norms.
Nepali delegation, led by joint-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies — that is hosting the two-day meeting — Toya Narayan Gyawali, is, however, unlikely to propose some service sectors for foreign investment without proper study.
The 16th SAARC summit in Bhutan in 2010 had decided to introduce the service sector in the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), which would incorporate only goods for regional preferential trade.

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