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Press Release: WTO DG H.E. Roberto Azevedo's Nepal visit
Dated: 09 September, 2014

Unofficial translation

Press Release                    

Upon the invitation of Government of Nepal, Director General of the WTO H.E. Roberto Azevedo arrived in Kathmandu on 4th June 2014 for two-day visit. H.E. Roberto Azevedo has played a crucial role in making the MC9 of the WTO held in Bali, Indonesia a success, after assuming office in September 2013 as the Director General at the WTO, which was established with an objective to supervise and liberalize international trade and to operate a set of trade rules. He met with the Prime Minister of Nepal Rt. Hon. Sushil Koirala and then with the Minister for Commerce and Supplies Hon. Sunil Bahadur Thapa in the first day of his visit.


Hon. Sunil Bahadur Thapa, Minister for Commerce and Supplies, recalling Nepal's succession to the WTO as the first Least Developed Country (LDC), said that Nepal had undertaken the role of Coordinator of the LDCs wherein it successfully assisted the Director General in the MC9. Hon. Minister praised the DG for his multi-dimensional leadership qualities and for the role he played in the MC9 which has addressed concerns of LDCs in the areas of services waiver, duty free quota free market access and extension of the implementation period of the agreement relating to intellectual property rights. On the occasion, the Commerce Minister recalled Nepal’s commitment to an open and liberal economy and the GoN’s policies and programmes being formulated and implemented in that spirit. He added that, keeping the domestic economic and political contexts, as well as the context of fast- changing world trade in mind, the country is moving towards enhancing export trade to achieve the aims of poverty alleviation and socio-economic development. In this context, he pointed out that political instability had caused economic slow-down and LDCs like Nepal needed special concessions. At the meeting, Director General of the WTO underscored the importance of both production and market for export.  


Although all WTO member countries have been taking a keen interest in the export-related problems of LDCs and conducting in a positive manner, the export competitiveness of LDCs has not been commensurate with it. In this context, highlighting the leadership role that the WTO could play in mobilizing Aid for Trade for LDCs by coordinating with developed countries and other donor agencies, the Commerce Minister said that, although the Bali Package approved by the MC9 had raised new hopes among LDCs, only its effective implementation could help achieve results.


Although the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) has helped to focus the mobilization of the AfT in LDCs to some extent and Nepal has also benefitted from it, due to resource constraints of EIF, there is a need for increasing resources as well as further enhancing resource mobilization in trade through other donor countries and agencies, said the Commerce Minister. At the end, he expressed his hope that the WTO DG’s Nepal visit would be fruitful.

Copyright 2014. EIF Nepal