Boosting trade could benefit overall development of a country, according to a member of the National Planning Commission.
"International trade that is a strong engine for development guarantees employment, skill development and boost local production," said the planning commission member Dr Abdur Rahim Mikarani inaugurating a four-day regional workshop on 'Integrating the Trade dimension in the United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks,' organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies and United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity, here today.
"However, Nepal has not been able to take benefit from trade," he said, adding that the country has recently identified some 19 goods and services under Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) to develop competitiveness in the international market.
Similarly, commerce and supplies secretary Lilamani Joshi, on the occasion, opined that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Nepal that are facing a challenge of mounting trade deficit could benefit from boosting international trade.
Trade could be linked to other dimensions of development that could benefit the LDCs like Nepal, he said, adding that Nepal could not take benefit from the trade also due to supply side constraints and its own limitations. "Aid for Trade initiative could also help countries to boost their trade."
The four-day regional workshop that is the first in its series of three has seven countries — Bhutan, Afghanistan, Samoa, Fiji, Timor Leaste, Tajikistan and Nepal — taking part in better understanding the role of trade policies and trade-related assistance in development plans.
It would also help strengthen the role of trade-related assistance and resources in the UN National Development Framework, strengthen trade- related aid coordination with partners and access expertise and resources of the UN-CEB Inter-Agency Cluster on trade and productive capacity, according to the organiser.
"The role of enhanced consultations between national authorities, UN entities and donors is also taken into account as part of the capacities that need to be developed within the project," they said, adding that the project will support the national involvement of governments and stakeholders in the preparation of joint operations on trade-related issues among the UN entities that are part of the Cluster, including the World Bank and the IMF as required in each case.
UNCTAD will act as lead agency of this project, in close coordination with all the agencies of the Cluster, with different inter-agency initiatives as required in each country targeted by the project that has also aimed at addressing the need to enhance both inter-agency coherence and joint initiatives at the country level in view of maximising the effectiveness of UN expertise and avoiding duplication of efforts.