Nepal lost nearly NPR 7 billion in exports of high-value products in the FY 2019/20 as the coronavirus pandemic hindered foreign trade.
According to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, the shipments of high-value products in the last fiscal stood at NPR 30.11 billion, down by 18.65% from FY 2018/19.
The steep fall in shipments is primarily due to the pandemic triggered lockdown during the main export season from mid-March to mid-April.
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“Orders from buyers in major international markets like India, the US and Europe fell sharply due to global trade and transport restrictions. The world is still occupied with controlling the virus outbreak, and Nepal’s trade could suffer further,” said Sharad Bikram Rana, Executive Director of the Centre.
Exports of products listed in the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy like pashmina, tea, large cardamom, ginger, yarn and rope, textile, fabric, carpet, and footwear declined during the last fiscal.
The drop in exports is as follows:
|Product||Exports Worth||Decline percentage|
|FY 2019/20||FY 2018/19|
|Large cardamom||NPR 4 billion||NPR 4.28 billion||6.19%|
|Pashmina||NPR 2.26 billion||NPR 2.51 billion||9.79%|
|Tea||NPR 2.78||NPR 3.20 billion||13.14%|
|Textile, fabrics, yarn and rope||NPR 12 billion||NPR 16.20 billion||25%|
|Carpet||NPR 6.16 billion||NPR 7.45 billion||17.32%|
|Ginger||NPR 435 million||NPR 512 million||14.94%|
|Footwear||NPR 753 million||NPR 905 million||16.72%|
|Leather||NPR 164 million||NPR 494 million||66.65%|
However, the export of medicinal and aromatic plants increased by 5.31% to NPR 1.51 billion in the last fiscal from NPR 1.43 billion in the previous fiscal.
Owing to the fall in foreign trade, the Nepali Government has introduced an ‘export house’ policy for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs to promote local products.
Under this policy, the government will build the capacity of the mentioned entrepreneurs and offers a 5% cash incentive to encourage the production of exportable products.
“But before the scheme can be implemented, the pandemic needs to subside here and in the potential export destinations,” said Rana.
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