US implements trade preference programme with Nepal

The Nepal Preference Programme is authorised for ten years and designed to help Nepal recover economically.

The Dollar Business Bureau (Sourced from PTI)

The US has started implementing a trade preference programme for Nepal under which different types of products that meet eligibility criteria will be imported duty-free from the Himalayan nation.

The Nepal Preference Programme is authorised for ten years and designed to help Nepal's economic recovery from the earthquakes that struck the country in 2015, according to a statement by the US Embassy here.

Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, which was signed by US President Barack Obama yesterday, will provide duty-free treatment for dozens of types of imports from Nepal that meet specific eligibility criteria, including certain types of carpets, headgear, shawls, scarves, and travel goods, the statement said.

"The program grants duty-free tariff benefits for certain Nepali exports not currently eligible for duty-free access to the US' market.

It also authorises a trade capacity building programme, focused on helping Nepal implement the World Trade Organisation's Trade Facilitation Agreement.

"The legislation provides a unique opportunity for Nepali businesses to expand their exports to US markets," said US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B Teplitz.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Nepal and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement to rebuild 15 earthquake-damaged schools in 11 most affected districts, benefiting 4,500 students.

Under the agreement, the Asian Development Bank will use the USD 10 million US contribution to rebuild the schools through its Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project.

The project uses approved architectural and engineering designs for permanent, earthquake-resilient buildings.

The schools will also be equipped with classroom furniture, separate girls and boys water and sanitation facilities, access accommodation for children with disabilities, and recreational facilities.

The 2015 earthquakes damaged or destroyed more than 8,200 public and private schools, affecting the education of approximately 2 million children.

The US Government has provided over $170 million in relief and reconstruction support to Nepal since the 2015 earthquakes.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Dec 19, 2016 12:00 IST