Connect to Grow is a first-of-its kind enterprise matchmaking initiative, designed to help ambitious enterprises grow. It does this by creating partnerships between Indian enterprises and enterprises across South Asia and Africa, to improve people’s health and agricultural prospects.
Connect supports the creation of sustainable partnerships between enterprises in India and enterprises in developing countries across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, within the Health and Agriculture sectors.
It will help Indian enterprises that are looking to enter new markets partner with enterprises in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa that are seeking proven innovations to grow their business. The programme will provide a range of support services to develop potential partnerships including funding and technical assistance.
This project is a new initiative under the partnership between DANIDA and ILO to promote responsible business practices, including efficient implementation of labour rights and good corporate governance. The project focuses on the value chains of four agricultural sectors, including orthodox tea, ginger, dairy and cardamom. The four-year project is a component of the UNNATI – Inclusive Growth Programme in Nepal and covers seven districts of the eastern region.
The project aims to achieve three objectives - building capabilities for advocacy and dialogue, promoting sustainability and promoting broad public awareness.
The UNNATI Programme is a five-year (2014-19), $70 million initiative under Nepal-Denmark Development Cooperation. The programme is implemented at national level with focus on seven districts in the Eastern Development Region of Nepal and emphasizes on private sector development in compliance with Danida’s strategy for support to growth and employment.
The primary purpose of this consultancy was to develop and implement an effective information, communication and technology strategy including support in developing trade related knowledge of selected exportable products in South Asian region.
The "Regional Workshop on Integrating the Trade Dimension in the UN Development Assistance Frameworks" was conducted in Kathmandu from April 24 - 26, 2012.
The Workshop was organized jointly by the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, and United Nations Inter-Agency Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity with support from UNCTAD. Over 40 delegates from 7 developing countries that include government officials responsible for planning development assistance, as well as other stakeholders involved in the process and UN country teams plus trade consultants and workshop facilitators participated in the 4 days Workshop.
The overall objectives of the Workshop for participants was to better understand the role of Trade Policies and Trade Related Technical Assistance in Development Plans and to advocate for the role of Trade and Productive Capacities in Development Plans, with the aim of fully integrating Trade Policies into a sound domestic Policy Framework and National Development Strategies. Furthermore, the Workshop also aimed at ensuring an effective coordination between the Enhanced Integrated Framework projects and the UN Development Assistance Framework.
Nepal is the first least developed country to join the WTO, though more than 30 LDCs who had been GATT members became members automatically when the WTO opened its doors in 1995. In April 2004, after its accession negotiations had been completed and its Parliament had ratified the accord, Nepal became a WTO member.
The first review of the trade policies and practices of Nepal took place on 13 March and 15 March 2012.
Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries' trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. All WTO members are subject to review, with the frequency of review depending on the country's size.
In this regard, answers to over 60 questionnaires, mainly in the areas of Nepal’s international trade, foreign investment, policy issues and NTIS implementation, put forward by dozen countries including India, China, US and the EU were prepared and submitted. Through the TPR and questionnaires, the international community not only seeked the Government of Nepal’s WTO commitments but also re-affirmed their continued interest in Nepal’s overall economic environment.
Members, during the trade policy review, pointed out that Nepal's economic growth rate of 4% annually had been insufficient to address the country's development needs. Members encouraged Nepal to find solutions to the country's energy shortages, poor infrastructure, and difficult management-labour relations. Any infrastructure development will also have to take account of the fact that Nepal is a landlocked country which is hindered by high transport costs.
Despite holding a very negligible share in the world trade, it is sincerely hoped that, post TPR Nepal will embark on a new era of international trade and foreign investment regime.
Trading Stories’ forms part of WTO/EIF efforts to follow up on the Istanbul Programme of Action from the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in May 2011 and on the case stories series produced for the Third Global Review on Aid for Trade in July 2011.
This global Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) multi-media project was made up of a series of eight country - specific book chapters, including Nepal, to form an EIF Resource Book, as well as eight country film chapters, good practice and lessons learned working papers and additional online features. As the project was developed, ‘Trading Stories’ also ran as an EIF campaign to profile the range of results of the programme, the impact made on the ground to date and upcoming plans. It formed part of the EIF programme evidence base for the Mid-Term Review in 2012.
Furthermore, all the material produced as part of the ‘Trading Stories’ project was shared with countries and used to complement national EIF communications plans and upcoming activities.
In this context, Nepal profiled 1 Project (NIU) under Tier 1 and 3 Projects (Ginger, Pashmina and Tea) under Tier 2.
Another Tier 2 project, titled ‘Pashmina Enhancement and Trade Support (PETS) Project’ aims at responding to the trade related development priorities of Nepal as identified in the NTIS as well as to build sustainable local capacities and leverage additional resources from development partners pursuant to this goal. The project’s purpose is to reduce poverty in Nepal by generating income and employment opportunities while contributing to export growth and market diversification.
In order to achieve its aims, the project will strengthen the competitiveness of Chyangra Pashmina sector through interventions along its value-chain (farmer, processors, exporters etc) and complimentary development of an effective trade support network that provides improved access to critical market and trade related information for producers, processors and exporters.
The project further aims to achieve long-term sustainable impact by strengthening national capacities and EIF ownership throughout the implementation phase. As an EIF project, synergies and complementarities between current project and similar other initiatives developed in the agriculture area, in particular, by bilateral and multilateral agencies will be promoted while also preferring local institutions as implementing partners.
The recently approved Nepal's first Tier 2 project “Enhancing Sanitary and Phytosanitary Capacity of Nepalese Ginger Exports through Public Private Partnership” focuses on developing the ginger value chain, identified as a high-potential sector for export, value-addition, employment and income-generation by the Nepalese government and development partners.
The project promotes public-private sector collaboration to improve the quality of, and add value to, ginger for export, which will enhance market access and increase incomes of rural people involved in the ginger value chain, who comprise a large number of poor, women-headed households.
This is a demand-driven project that has the support and commitment of key stakeholders. The goal is to increase the incomes of ginger farmers through improvements in SPS arrangements for export to India and other countries. The purpose is increased market opportunities for Nepalese ginger through a series of SPS related and value-addition interventions.
The NECTRADE Project called for Expression of Interest from all interested public, private and non-government agencies for immediate collaboration towards NTIS 2010 implementation. This entailed working with the NIU to develop project proposals for implementation of action steps identified in the NTIS. The major areas for EOI submission included:
Further details and Terms of Reference was made available in the MoCS website.
Based on this EOI, 22 proposals were received from 14 companies which were later shortlisted, prioritised and forwarded to the relevant TCs and Ministeries. Accordingly, the companies were invited for further presentation and clarifications. Next, after the proposals are approved by the NSC, they will be implemented through financial and technical support by the NIU and bilateral donor partners
NIU is established at the MoCS to facilitate EIF processes and coordinate effectively between GoN and other stakeholders towards Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) implementation.
The NIU is headed by Joint Secretary, also Chief of Planning and International Trade Cooperation Division, and reports to the MoCS Secretary, who serves as the EIF Nepal Focal Point (FP).
The NIU not only supports in managing daily operations but is also responsible for coordinating in-country EIF activities and implementation at national level. More precisely, the NIU supports line ministries and Technical Committees (TCs) and carries out awareness raising, promotion and trade mainstreaming activities.
With aims to make NIU more functional and to bring concerned agencies in one place, concept of ‘Extended NIU’ has already been put in place. While, the NIU Chief serves as its coordinator, one person from each agencies are assigned as NIU Focal point thus representing NIU accordingly. Presently six focal persons from different agencies are working actively with NIU in WTO matters.
The NIU in Nepal has been closely monitoring the implementation of Tier 1 and development of Tier 2 projects, under National Steering Committee (NSC) and FP supervision, further reporting on progress to the FP, NSC and EIF ES. In addition, 6 inter-ministerial Technical Committees (TCs) chaired by Joint Secretaries of the designated ministries have been established under NIU who are overseeing Tier 2 projects and other cross-cutting issues. Furthermore, representation from private sectors in NSC could serve as a good example of PPP.
Following the good practices established during the NTIS development, the TCs have also included private sector and donor representatives which again could ensure a better coordination between the working groups created under the Nepal Business Forum for public-private dialogue towards implementation of action plans and project proposals developed by TCs.