Trade liberalisation essential for economic growth: Dr. Mahat
Nepalnews.com, Nepal, May 27, 2006
Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, said that due to a lack of ‘effective implementation of trade liberalisation initiatives’, no substantial progress has been made in poverty reduction and trade expansion fronts.
Mahat however said that the present government is fully committed towards economic development of the nation.
Addressing a symposium on ‘Linkages Between Trade and Poverty Reduction: Transmission Mechanism and Impact jointly organized by Forum for Protection of Public Interest (Pro-Public), South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) and Institute for Policy Research and Development on Friday, Finance Minister Dr. Mahat noted that it is an uphill task to obtain high economic growth rate at present circumstances.
What is crucial is that we need to make our economy competitive, focusing on capacity building and removing barriers. Trade liberalisation activities should be participatory with the involvement of disadvantaged groups of people so as to benefit them from this mechanism, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Lawmaker Dilli Raj Khanal expressed the view that growth of employment sector and rapid industrial transformation would assist poverty alleviation while stressing that Nepal should render special priority to the products on goods that benefit the nation.
He added that the country should move forward embracing developments in the technological sector and conduct discussions with foreign countries in order to invite foreign investment.
Resident Representative of UNDP Matthew Kahane, stressed that trade liberalisation should be linked with rural sector’s development endeavors. Kahane said that unless women are empowered and get involved in mainstream development activities, poverty reduction would be difficult.
Dr Posh Raj Pandey, president of SAWTEE, was of the view that proper design and sequencing of trade liberalisation and development is needed. In connection with linkages between trade and poverty reduction, global partnership is a must, he opined.
The paper prepared by SAWTEE recommended that as there is no mention of the direct trade and poverty linkages in the poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) of the government, there is a gap in terms of mainstreaming trade in poverty reduction strategy.
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