Duty-free quota-free market access for LDCs is mandatory: Nepal

Minister for Commerce and Supplies, Rajendra Mahato Sunday attended the Ministerial Meeting of the Commerce Ministers from the Least Developed Countries (LCD) that was held on the sidelines of the 7th Ministerial Conference of World Trade Organisation in Geneva.

The meeting discussed issues of concerns to the LDCs that include Duty Free Quota Free Market Access to all products originating from the LDCs, Special and Differential Treatment, Services Waiver as sectors of early harvesting for LDCs.

Mahato who is leading the Nepali delegation to the 7th Ministerial Conference of the WTO intervened to emphasize on the need for Duty Free Quota Free Market Access for LDCs. This, he said, has become all the more urgent in view of a series of crises that have hit hard countries like Nepal. The crises have undermined efforts of LDCs to realize their primary development goals including the Millennium Development Goals and internationally agreed Development Goals.  

In the context of LDCs lacking capacity to trade and compete, Minister Mahato underlined the need for technical assistance and capacity building for creating infrastructures and promoting trade.  He drew the attention of developed countries to fulfill their past commitments in increasing financing, reducing and cancelling debts, dismantling all tariff and non-tariff barriers to allow unhindered market access to products originating from LDCs. 

He also urged development partners to upscale their assistance to the LDCs through Aid for Trade and Enhanced Integrated Framework Mechanisms in a predictable and sustainable manner. He urged the fellow commerce ministers from 48 LDCs to strengthen the unity and solidarity of the LDCs as a group and work for an early conclusion of Doha Development Agenda to meet the challenges of the day.  

Commerce Secretary Purushottam Ojha and Ambassador to the UN and WTO Dr. Dinesh Bhattarai were also present during the meeting. nepalnews.com