June 30, 2023
KATHMANDU – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $50 million loan to support the implementation of policy reforms by the government of Nepal to help improve its domestic and international trade.
The programme will help implement the current customs reform and modernisation plan by improving customs processes through the introduction of digital technologies including electronic payments of customs duties and fees and electronic submission of export documents, ADB said in a statement.
It will establish an online customs valuation database and reduce export documentation to facilitate customs clearance.
“The development of the trade and industry sector will boost competitiveness and help steer the country towards sustainable economic growth,” said ADB South Asia Department’s Director of Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Thiam Hee Ng.
“Furthermore, improved trade facilitation can boost exports and help address Nepal’s balance of payment.”
In the fiscal year 2022, trade and industry contributed 14.1 percent to Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP). The government is pushing to increase the contribution of trade to GDP by improving the trade and export promotion environment and strengthening the supply chain of primary products.
The ADB programme will expand the government’s trade facilitation efforts to the logistics sector to promote more efficient movement of goods among producers, distributors, sellers, and buyers, according to the statement.
Supported activities include the integration of logistics infrastructure to facilitate multimodal transport and last-mile connectivity and the establishment of a one-stop logistics information portal.
The programme will also introduce and harmonise technical standards of logistics infrastructure and equipment to facilitate trade with the country’s key economic partners, such as India and Bangladesh.