Nepal German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NGCCI) organized an Interaction on “Issues of Business Sector in COVID 19 Situation” with business leaders representing from various Foreign Trade related business organizations, bi-national chambers and prominent leaders, MPs and members of COVID Supervision Committee of Nepal Government on July 10, 2020 at Nanglo Café, Kamaladi.
President Mr. Malla, Covid Supervision Committee Chair, Dr. Mahat & Members of the Committee
The participants include:
- Prakash Sharan Mahat, Chairperson, COVID Supervision Committee
- Hon’ble Dibyamani Rajbhandari, MP/Founder President NGCCI
- Anup Bahadur Malla, President, NGCCI
- Rohini Thapaliya, Past President, NGCCI,
- Gopal S. L. Kakshapati, Past President, NGCCI
- Kiran P. Saakha, President, Nepal USA Chamber
- Rajan Sharma, General Secretary, Nepal EU Chamber
- Vivek Paudyal, General Secretary, Nepal China Chamber
- Ram Chandra Shanghai, MD, Triveni Spinning Mills
- Durga Bikram Thapa, President, Nepal Pashmina Industries Association
- Nain Singh Mahat, COVID Supervision Committee
- N.P Saud, COVID Supervision Committee
- Santosh C. Kunwar, Vice President, NGCCI ( Tea & Coffee Sector )
- Naresh Lal Shrestha, Vice President, NGCCI ( IPP, Felt Association )
- Uttam Bhattarai, General Secretary, NGCCI ( Logistic Sector )
- Bhakta Hamal, Treasurer, NGCCI ( PP Chemsan, Medical Sector )
- Prabhu Budhathoki, COVID Supervision Committee
- Sarin Ghimire, COVID Supervision Committee
- Sunil Kumar, Dhanuka, President, Foreign Trade Association of Nepal
- Prakash Wagle, Media
- Sanjeet Khadka, News Agency Nepal, Media
- Saraswati Maharjan, CEO, NGCCI
- Munindra Bajracharya, Admin/Finance Officer, NGCCI
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on Nepal’s economy. During recent months, remittances have fallen considerably, tourist arrivals collapsed, and domestic activity has taken a hit amid social distancing measures. The worldwide pandemic and resulting lockdown to contain it have hit Nepal’s foreign trade sector hard. Among government responses, those surveyed prioritized cash subsidies as most important, followed by interest rate subsidies, concessional loans, rental waivers, and utility subsidies.
Participants at the program
The isssues discussed at the interaction program were:
- Export sector is totally suffered due to unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade, as production and consumption are scaled back across the globe.
- Nepal’s manufacturing industries mostly rely on raw materials from China and India. The knock-on effects for Nepal are significant as the supply of raw materials disrupted drastically.
- Manpower is another major issue, as bringing manpower to manufacturing companies, transportation, covid related safety procedure is another big issue for the companies. It is so costly as well as risky too.
- Significant government support is necessary in these sectors
- Government should concentrate on local market, keeping smooth supply chain of essentials products
- Suggestion for export visa in garment sector, import ban or channelized import system to promote local production and consumption
- Practical Implementation of decision and monitoring is necessary
- Government decision asking tax payers to clear taxes amid lockdown is unusual and impractical
- Tourism sector, airlines, hospitality sectors facing severe impact due to covid pandemic.
- In hospitality industry, it would be better for employment step by step considering other conditions to adopt rather than blank decision until certain time period.
- The participants also raised issues regarding the upcoming monetary policy of the government at this pandemic situation.
- The Embassies of Nepal abroad should be mobilized for economic diplomacy
- In logistic sector, Government’s weak model without option in transit points is hindering transportation and supply management in local and international level. At the time when supply chain is affected worldwide, government should take immediate actions to ease the connectivity within the country and beyond borders.
- The participants also raised concern about the lengthy paperwork for shipment of products.
- The participants also suggested for opening the international scheduled passenger flights and lift travel ban on foreign visitors slowly.
- Medical sector being one of the essential sectors during covid situation mentioned that government’s short notice for supply and delivery of the products is impractical, so need timely notice. Though total import base, basic equipment is being produced in Nepal recently.
- Tea/Coffee one of the export products from Nepal, the sector’s issue for CFL test for easy access in the market and export subsidy was also discussed at the program.
On behalf of NGCCI, President Mr. Malla thanked all the participants for their active participation and interaction.
The program was followed by lunch at Nanglo Café.