Sunday, 20th April 2014

WTO conference successful: FM Koirala

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Minister for Finance, Commerce and Supplies Shankar Prasad Koirala has said the World Trade Organisation (WTO)'s ninth ministerial-level conference was historic and successful.

Taking to media persons upon his arrival at International Tribhuvan Airport (TIA) Monday after attending the WTO conference in Bali, Minister Koirala said that Nepal, as coordinator of least developed countries (LCDs), played a facilitating role in settling the disputes among developed and developing countries.

Voices of LDCs for customs access and facility and quota free market access, discount on service trade, trade facilitation and other agro-related agenda have been incorporated in the Bali package which is an achievement of the conference, he said.

The conference expressed commitment to completing the remaining task of the Doha round within a year, increasing trust and faith on multilateral trade system. Agreements to keep other alternatives open for food security in the developing countries, promote LDC's trade and further support development endeavors there are the outcomes of Bali package.

Minister Koirala headed the Nepali delegation to the conference that was held in Bali of Indonesia from December 3 to 6. Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Madhav Prasad Regmi, Secretary at the Office of Prime Minister Surya Prasad Silwal, Nepali Ambassador to the UN Shankar Bairagi in the delegation.

Meanwhile, economists have argued that Nepal could take no benefit from the WTO until its internal production and economy is strengthened. Taking part in an interaction programme organised by Media International here today, they stressed the need of increasing export rate.

Vice President of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pradeep Jung Pandey, said that country's internal economy should be further strengthened to utilise WTO facilities.  Meanwhile, economist Bishwambhar Pyakurel said receiving benefits from WTO is far in view of Nepal when the country hasn’t reaped benefits from the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) signed with India.