KATHMANDU, June 10: Freight forwarders have urged government to take immediate actions to enhance the international trade and upgrade transport and transit related logistics by fulfilling its domestic and international commitments.
Nepal Freight Forwarders´ Association (NEFFA), a leading organization of freight forwarders, requested the government conclude plans such as development of dry ports, formation of International Transshipment Facility (ITF), drafting of warehouse act, sign Road Service Agreement with Bangladesh.
Commenting on the country report on trade, transit and logistics NEFFA president Rajan Sharma said the government should speed up effort to draft a transshipment module under international standard. “Good carriers act needs to be enacted soon, trade and transit treaty with Bhutan should be signed, Rohanpur-Singhabad route for trade via Bandladesh and signing agreement with India for the Visakhapatnam port should take place immediately,” Sharma said, commenting on country report at the Regional Forum of Freight Forwarders, Multimodal Transporters and Logistics Services Providers, held in Bangkok, Thailand.
Nepal which has around 66 percent of total international trade with India, should seek support from international agencies to develop the transshipment module. “That module should be acceptable to India,” Sharma said.
Transport and transit related logistics should be under Ministry of Commerce and Supply (MoCS). “Accredited laboratories are required to increase exports, registration of dry ports of Nepal in United Nation European Commission (UNEC) and making them visible in global shipping map are some of the immediate, mid- term and long- term demands,” Sharma said.
In addition, NEFFA has requested government to finalize the railway act -- under preparation in the Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management (MoPPWTM). Government, which formed Department of Railway (DoR) last year hoping to expand railway connectivity in the country, has asked a team of expert in the MoPPWTM to draft a railway act.
Acknowledging the hurdles in Nepal´s international trade, NEFFA reiterated the government should further facilitate the cross border trade. Studies related to trade and transit have been constantly raising the issues of hassles in the cross-border trade. “Increasing production capacity of the manufacturing sector might be a long-term vision of the government but removing trade and transit related problems should be a priority of government,” said Sharma.