Nepal hosts Asia workshop to help poorest countries make most of world trade

09 Jul 2010

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The Government of Nepal (GoN) in partnership with UNDP and the Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat hosted a three-day workshop in Kathmandu to explore how Asia's poorest countries can benefit more from world trade and how trade can help lift more people across the region out of poverty.

The trade and development regional workshop brought together representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Maldives and Yemen and from ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNIDO, UNOPS, the World Bank, the WTO, bilateral donors and the Asian Development Bank.

The participants who are at different stages of accessing the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) capacity development for trade window discussed on the tools that they needed to tackle major obstacles to trade so as to promote economic growth, sustainable development and bring greater prosperity to the wider population. 

Purushottam Ojha, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, stated, "The Government of Nepal is fully committed to implementing the EIF programme in Nepal. We hope that the experiences we have shared during the workshop will help mainstream trade into the national development agenda and define our path of export-led growth."

UNDP Country Director for Nepal, Anne-Isabelle Degryse-Blateau, said, "UNDP feels privileged to have supported the Government of Nepal in accessing this EIF programme. This workshop will serve as a platform to share Nepal's experience with other countries on how the programme supports the Aid for Trade agenda and as an opportunity for countries to learn from each other to become more effective in the trade agenda. I would also like to congratulate the GoN for the upcoming launch of the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy 2010, at the time of this Asian Regional Conference."

The Enhanced Integrated Framework is a multi-donor programme which supports Least Developed Countries to be more active players in the global trading system by helping them build their capacity to tackle obstacles to trade and to promote trade more effectively. 

The EIF programme is currently helping 47 of the poorest countries worldwide, supported by a Multi-Donor Trust Fund with contributions from 23 donors and an Integrated Framework Executive Secretariat, housed in WTO. 21 projects are already underway since 2009.

Dorothy Tembo, Executive Director of the Integrated Framework Secretariat comments, "Our programme is about creating a genuine partnership between Least Developed Countries, international agencies and donors to show results on the ground. This workshop will not only highlight the progress that Asia has made but also help countries use the programme to tackle some of the challenges ahead for trade to unlock future regional prosperity for all."