Friday, March 2, 2018

Nepal calls for balance between trade and development

Nepal has stressed for a balance between trade and development.
Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, during a meeting with World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Roberto Azevedo on Friday in Geneva, stressed on the need to achieve a proper balance between trade and development.
According to Nepal’s Geneva-based Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN), Bairagi remarked that all countries should gain from the world trading system. He also said that there should be a system of wide support for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as they have not been fully able to utilise special and differential provisions of the WTO regime.
Likewise, the foreign secretary also held a meeting with deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore on the sidelines of the 37th session of Human Rights Council and apprised her of achievements Nepal made in the area of human rights over the years, adding that Nepal has remained constructively engaged with the UN human rights machinery.

LDCs urge WTO members to facilitate use of services waiver

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – at a meeting of the Council for Trade in Services today chaired by ambassador Julian Braithwaite (UK) – called on global trade regime members to undertake capacity building measures that would enable their suppliers to take advantage of preferential treatment notified under the LDC Services Waiver.
LDCs also encouraged members to increase awareness of the waiver domestically. Recalling the Nairobi Waiver Decision, LDCs today also advocated that members explore what recommendations the Council might make 'on steps that could be taken towards enhancing the operationalisation of the Waiver'.
The LDC Services waiver allows World Trade Organisation (WTO) members to grant preferential treatment to services and service suppliers from LDC members. The WTO members are also encouraged to undertake specific technical assistance and capacity building measures to orient LDC service suppliers to preference benefits available so that such suppliers can utilize the preferences granted.
The Council has received a total of 24 notifications of preferences in favour of LDC services and service suppliers, on the part of 51 Members.
As the operationalisation of the LDC Services Waiver is a standing item on its agenda, the Council will revert to the matter at its next meeting.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

PM Oli claims government poised for double-digit economic growth

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has claimed that the government is going to achieve a double-digit economic growth within the first quarter of next fiscal year.
Meeting with representatives of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) at his official residence in Baluwatar today, the Prime Minister said that his government is going to surpass fiscal year 2016-17's economic growth of 6.9 per cent to hit a double-digit growth rate.
The Chamber has – submitting a proposal – also emphasised on the need of making the next decade as the 'decade of double-digit economic growth'.
NCC president Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, submitting the 18-point proposal to the Prime Minister Oli said that the private sector and the government should joing hands to achieve economic development.
The proposal submitted by the NCC has prescribed pills for the economic ills including development of the agriculture, energy and the tourism sectors. It has also recommended the government to guarantee the rule of law and promotion of industrial development, apart from promotion of foreign investment, efficient revenue administration, support to share market, well-managed transportation, communication and infrastructure development and importation of petroleum products.
Shrestha, on the occasion, also suggested the government to make the public holidays community specific as the country has too many public holidays that has had a negative impact on the economy.
The private sector has also urged the government to amend the age-old acts, regulations and guidelines to suit the current business environment. They also asked the government to resolve the challenges of federalism, foreign trade and the banking sector that is fighting to manage the lonable fund.
On the occasion, finance minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada assured that the government would move ahead by taking the private sector into confidence to achieve the economic prosperity. The finance minister also expressed commitment that the government would do the needful to implement all logical suggestions.
Making a commitment that the private sector will join hands with the government to meet the economic growth target, the Chamber also urged the premier to declare the next decade as ‘Decade of double-digit economic growth’.
The Chamber has also suggested the government to adopt various measures to reduce the cost of doing business in the country, provide assurance of rule of law, improve industrial environment and attract investment in various sectors.
Likewise, the Chamber also drew the government’s attention to solve problems of double taxation, prepare an inventory of property lacking sources and create an environment for investing them.
"The provision requiring a Nepali citizen to disclose their source of income has been a hindrance for enough investment," the Chamber president Shrestha said, adding that the provision is the key reason for the failure to create an environment for investment.
The Money Laundering Prevention Act makes it mandatory to disclose the source of income and government investment. Banks are required to report every transaction of over Rs 1 million to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the central bank. Hinting that the provision of the Act has been a factor deterring investment, the NCC prodded the government to list property lacking sources.
The Chamber has urged to archive the domestic property lacking source and to create an environment to invest them.
"It requires a huge investment in order to achieve 7.2 per cent growth," the report reads, adding that the provision of legal source has deterred domestic investment. "The environment for domestic investment will improve a lot, if the existing domestic sources could be recorded."