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FNCCI hosts workshop to discuss impact of Nepal's graduation on exports, employment

B360
B360 May 27, 2024, 12:44 pm
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KATHMANDU: Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) held a discussion on the implications of Nepal's graduation from a least developed country status on exports and employment.

In partnership with the 'Empowered Woman: Prosperous Nepal' programme and associated agencies, including the European Union (EU),  Government of Nepal, International Trade Centre, and International Labor Organization (ILO), FNCCI organised an extensive one-day 'Technical Workshop on Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) and International Labour Standards' in Kathmandu. Participants in the programme expressed their concerns about the prerequisites for obtaining GSP+ facilities.

FNCCI Vice President (Associate) and Chairperson of the Employers' Council Jyotsna Shrestha discussed the impact on the private sector of ratifying the convention to secure GSP+ facilities. She stated, "Undoubtedly, Nepal's national self-respect and identity will be enhanced internationally with its graduation to a middle-income country. However, the issues recommended by international conventions 81 and 87 for the amendment of existing Nepal laws, along with matters related to facilities that Nepal has been receiving as an LDC such as customs exemptions and grants from donor agencies, need to be clarified."

During the inaugural session of the workshop, moderated by FNCCI Director General Gokarna Raj Awasthi, Veronique Lorenzo, Ambassador of the European Union to Nepal, emphasised that Nepal should ensure the ratification and implementation of ILO Conventions related to labour freedom and labour inspection to join the EU GSP Plus. Similarly, Numan Özcan, Country Director of the ILO Office for Nepal, underscored the unequal impact of the ILO's evaluation on women's employment and stressed the importance of ensuring decent work.

FNCCI Vice President (Commodity) Hem Raj Dhakal highlighted the potential rise in foreign investment and the necessity for Nepal's industry and commerce sector to compete on a global scale. At the conclusion of the inaugural session, Madan Dahal, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, stated that the ILO Freedom Convention (Convention number 87) and Labour Inspection (Convention number 81) are in the process of being approved.

 

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Participants attend the Technical Workshop on Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) and International Labour Standards organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in Kathmandu, on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

The workshop was attended by a total of 70 representatives from the Government of Nepal, employers, and charities. The discussion focused on exports to Europe following Nepal's graduation from LDC to a middle-income country. Elena Gerasimova, Labour Law and Labour Standards Specialist at ILO Delhi, made a presentation on the international conventions that Nepal should ratify to secure GSP+ facilities. Similarly, Dr Bazlul Haque Khondker, Professor of Economics at Dhaka University, and ILO consultant Nirnaya Bhatta shared the preliminary findings of the employment impact assessment, economic growth, and estimated GDP deficit. Tobias Dolle, international advisor at ITC, delivered a presentation on EU priorities under GSP, while Vidur Ghimire, project coordinator of ITC, discussed policy recommendations to reduce Nepal's export and trade deficit following its graduation from LDC.

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