Nepal hopes first China South Asia Expo to boost export growth

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Nepal is hopeful that first China South Asia Exposition (CSAE) 2013 will open a new avenue for growth in its exports to South Asian and Asia Pacific region, exporters said on Thursday.

Participation in the first regional exposition held in the fastest ever growing market in the world will indeed unveil too many opportunities for Nepali business community, Anup Bahadur Malla, president of Nepal Carpet Exporters Association, told Xinhua.

"Nepali business community participating in CSAE should take advantage through promotion of products and developing market linkages with business dignitaries from different countries of Asia Pacific and South Asia," he added.

Besides a 10-member official delegation led by Vice President Paramananda Jha, over 100 Nepali exporters are to showcase wide range of typical Nepali products in more than 85 booths in the first ever CSAE to be inaugurated in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunan Province on Thursday.

Nepal is making its presence felt in CSAE, exhibiting almost all types of Nepali exports including carpet, statue, copper and bronze products, woodcrafts, jewelries, masks, herbal soap, organic coffee, tea, pashmina and most of all Buddhism related products, according to the Nepal-China executive council which is organizing Nepali participation in the expo.

Vice President Jha is scheduled to address the opening ceremony of the first CSAE being held on June 6-10.

He will leave for Beijing and Shanghai on Thursday evening. In Beijing, he will discuss bilateral relations and cooperation with his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao on Friday, Chief of Protocol Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat confirmed. Jha will return to Kathmandu on June 9.

"The event will allow Nepali businessmen to explore the export potential to China and other countries as well as to bring foreign direct investment to Nepal," Kiran Kumar Dangol, vice president of Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal said.

However carpet manufacturer Malla lamented on lack of consultation and strategic preparation of Nepali business delegation headed by the Commerce Secretary Lalmani Joshi to Kunming.

Had the Ministry of Commerce and Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), before leaving to expo, planned strategically with meeting all stakeholders of export industries, Nepali export sector could have gained more benefits in trade expansion and investment promotion, Malla said.

Themed as 'shared opening-up, pragmatic cooperation, win-win results, and harmonious development,' the first CSAE is being organized by the provincial government of Yunnan and China's Ministry of Commerce.

The event is believed to serve as an important platform for promotion of trade, investment and people-to-people cooperation through new economic linkages between the countries in South Asia and Asia Pacific regions.

The value of trade between China and South Asian countries has increased from 5.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to 93 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, or an average growth rate of 26 percent annually. Trade with Nepal amounted to over 619 million U.S. dollars in 2011/ 12.

According to TEPC, Nepal's exports to China stood at 21 million U.S. dollars over the first nine months of current fiscal year. Nepal imported goods worth 587 million U.S. dollars from China during the period.

The 21st Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair, China- South Asia Business Forum, China-South Asia Sourcing Event, China- South Asia Think Tank Forum, China-South Asia Friendship Organizations Forum are the major events to be held simultaneously with the CSAE.

Some 1,139 companies from 32 countries or regions have registered to participate in the expo. Endi

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