Linkages between trade, development and poverty reduction (TDP)


Trade promotion not import substitution

Nepalbiz News, May 26, 2006

Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat has said that Nepal should need to focus on trade promotion putting emphasis on comparative strength rather than old-fashioned concept of import substitution.

Finance Minister Dr. Mahat was talking to national policy dialogue on Linkages between Trade and Poverty Reduction: Transmission Mechanism and Impact jointly organised by SAWTEE, Pro Public and IPRAD here in capital on Friday.

Dr. Mahat further told, “Benefit of trade liberalization should trickle down to the poor and rural areas then only the objective of integration to the global economy could be achieved.”

He expressed his regret saying that medieval rulers of Nepal couldn’t realize the transit potential of Nepal and maintained suspicious and protectionist attitude with British rulers in India.

Talking to the program, Matthew Kahane, resident representative of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Nepal said that Nepal’s trade liberalization should put emphasis on rural development and create rural employment. He further informed that UNDP and Government of Nepal are going begin an assistance program for trade development jointly.

Similarly, Dr. Dilliraj Khanal, lawmaker and former member of National Planning Commission (NPC) told that in the changed context we have to adopt new vision, new orientation and new commitment to ensure inclusive structure of socio economic transformation which we failed to do in the last twelve or fifteen years of democratic exercise.

Dr. Khanal expressed his hope that the new challenge of economic uprising will be fulfilled by this time since Nepal is in the way of new history making.

In his welcome address, Dr. Posh Raj Pandey, president of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics, & Environment (SAWTEE) told that economic liberalization after 80s received multilateral, bilateral and various mode of assistance, which failed to reach the target of prosperity and alleviation of poverty. Dr. Pandey further warned that trade liberalization and integration to global economy has opened tremendous opportunity and vulnerability as well.

Dr. Pushpa Raj Rajkarnikar, president of Institute for Policy Research and Development (IPRAD) stressed to focus on rural development and infrastructure development while making trade expansion.

Talking to the program, Dr. Shree Krishna Shrestha, president of Forum for Protection of Public Interest (Pro Public) told that Nepal’s trade liberalization should alleviate poverty and stabilize macro and micro economic sustainability.

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