KATHMANDU: Nepali garment exporters have urged the government to effectively mobilize the Nepali diplomatic mission in the United States to ensure duty free entry of Nepali exportable goods, Garment Association of Nepal (GAN) said on June 26.
The Tariff Relief Assistance for Developing Economies Act 2005, tabled in the US Congress on Jan. 26 this year, is expected to provide duty free access for 3,677 goods, ranging from ready-made garments to milk and plastic products, manufactured in 14 Asian Pacific least developed countries (LDCs).
"Although seven LDCs, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Sri Lanka, have signed a declaration in Bangladesh to jointly lobby for the cause, Nepal may not be able to achieve the desired goal if the government fails to adopt the policy of economic diplomacy and mobilize Nepali Embassy to the United States to expedite the process," Kiran Prakash Saakha, president of GAN, told reporters.
"If the government, along with private sector, can create pressure on the US government to endorse the law, we could revive the industry while enhance exports of other goods to the United States as well," Saakha said.
Nepal's export to the United States in 2004 amounted to about 142 million US dollars, of which exports of ready-made garments accounted for 68.8 percent.
However, since scrapping of the Multi Fiber Act in January 2005, export of Nepali ready-made apparel has declined by more than 40 percent, which in turn has dragged down the country's total export to the United States.