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 development of the trade and industry sector will boost competitiveness and help steer the country toward sustainable economic growth,” remarked 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 fiscal year 2022, trade and industry contributed 14.1% to Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP). Nepal 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, according to a ADB press release. The program will help implement the current Customs Reform and Modernization Plan by improving customs processes through the introduction of digital technologies, such as electronic payments of customs duties and fees, and electronic submission of export documents, according to the ADB. “It will establish an online customs valuation database and reduce export documentation to facilitate customs clearance.”
The ADB program 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. “The project involves activities such as integration of logistics infrastructure to facilitate multimodal transport and last-mile connectivity and the establishment of a one-stop logistics information portal.” The program will harmonize technical standards of logistics infrastructure and equipment to facilitate Nepal’s trade with her key economic partners, like India and Bangladesh.