British Government Assures Nepal of Trade Support Amid LDC Graduation Preparations

The British government has pledged robust trade facilitation support to Nepal as the Himalayan nation prepares to graduate from its least developed country (LDC) status by 2026. This assurance came during a high-level meeting between Rob Fenn, the British Ambassador to Nepal, and Damodar Bhandari, Nepal’s Minister for Industry, Commerce, and Supplies.

Ambassador Fenn confirmed that Nepal would benefit from the Developing Countries Trading Scheme, a specialized trade facility tailored for developing nations. This scheme supersedes the generalized system of preferences (GSP) typically extended to least developed countries, aiming to foster sustainable growth through enhanced trade preferences.

The British ambassador emphasized the UK’s commitment to bolstering Nepal’s export capabilities, particularly in sectors like industry, hydropower, and education. He highlighted opportunities for Nepal to leverage British expertise and technology, underscoring the UK’s role in connecting Nepal to global markets.

Minister Bhandari, while welcoming the support, urged for increased technical assistance aimed at boosting Nepal’s export growth. Discussions also covered intellectual property rights protection, bilateral trade, and investment cooperation between Nepal and the UK.

However, amidst these positive developments, trade experts have cautioned that Nepal faces potential challenges post-graduation, including tariff increases and stricter rules of origin requirements. The transition from LDC status could impact Nepal’s exports, particularly in key markets like the European Union, where the Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative currently provides vital trade benefits.

Despite these challenges, stakeholders remain optimistic about Nepal’s prospects, emphasizing the need for continued international support during this pivotal period of economic transition.

The upcoming years are crucial for Nepal as it navigates the complexities of LDC graduation while striving to sustain and expand its economic footprint on the global stage.


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