In my latest op-ed, I take a look at how Nepal has fared since it joined up with the WTO in 2004. Quite surprisingly, the overall trade has declined and employment situation in the manufacturing sector became worse. Maybe Nepal should concentrate more on the nearby markets where trade takes places the most (say, South Asian Free Trade Agreement-SAFTA) rather than lying marketplaces in developed countries. Is Nepal gaining from WTO?

A recent Ministerial Meeting in New Delhi decided to resume trade negotiations to complete the Doha Round, which emerged to a grinding halt in July this past year over differences regarding special safeguard actions and agricultural subsidies provided by rich countries. The WTO Director General Pascal Lamy desires a Doha offer is doable by 2010. The Doha offer is likely to not only help countries broaden trade but also help developing countries achieve development goals.

An increase in trade of goods and services in the international market has helped many countries achieve quick economic growth. In the context of Nepal, we have to ask what benefits we would have from the Doha Round specifically and the WTO in general. Nepal joined the WTO on April 23, 2004, becoming the first LDC to join the trading bloc through full working party negotiation process.

  • The power of compounding earnings
  • Your retirement goals
  • Source deals through public auctions and private romantic relationships
  • Target FIRE Age / Amount / Withdrawal Rate / Location
  • Is the marketplace increasing in the future
  • Corporate value comes from making good investments

So considerably, there have never been discernible benefits – in conditions of growth, employment, poverty decrease, and industrial production – from becoming a member of the WTO. Actually, exports have declined, imports increased and the manufacturing sectors, especially the ones that weighted high in the exports container, have been going downward. It’s time to evaluate the progress made since becoming a member of the WTO and the possible impact on growth and work due to prepared reduction in tariffs in the coming years.

No research has been done so far to determine how much would Nepal gain by signing up for various trading blocs and under what trading scenario (tariff and subsidy rates) would Nepal lose and gain in the type of areas? What would be its effect on employment, which should be one of the main barometers for analyzing long-term success of trade?

It is amazing to notice that trade (as a share of GDP) has dropped since 2004, unlike what is expected after joining trading blocs quite. It was 46.14 percent in 2004 but 45.28 percent in 2007. In the six years before becoming a member of WTO, typically, trade was 52 percent of GDP.

Categories: Finance