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Export Diversification and Competitiveness: Nepal’s Experiences

  • Bhubanesh Pant Ph.D.


  • Rajan Krishna Panta


    (Nepal Rastra Bank)

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    Nepal’s policy regime has not been very instrumental in improving trade competitiveness. Although policy measures have been announced from time to time to identify new exportable products and encourage diversification of export markets, these have hardly been executed. The challenge for Nepal is complicated by the legacy of the past. Against this perspective, this paper a) examines the export scenario of Nepal and reviews the past studies on the country's export potential; b) illustrates Nepal's competitiveness of the export sector; and c) suggests measures for promoting export diversification and competitiveness. Based on the estimation of the real effective exchange rate (REER), this paper shows that the country is gradually losing its competitiveness. Although various studies have demonstrated that Nepal possesses competitive advantage in herbal products, woollen carpets, tea, garments and pashmina, among others, a comprehensive case-by-case analysis of home and host countries trading environment, supply and demand conditions, cost of production, capacity to innovate, as well as its forward and backward linkages should be conducted to translate the export potential to the actual trading opportunities.

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    Article provided by Nepal Rastra Bank, Research Department in its journal NRB Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2009)
    Issue (Month): (April)
    Pages: 52-78

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    Handle: RePEc:nrb:journl:v:21:y:2009:p:52-78
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    1. Atish R. Ghosh & Jonathan D. Ostry, 1994. "Export Instability and the External Balance in Developing Countries," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(2), pages 214-235, June.
    2. Mia Mikic & John Gilbert, 2007. "Trade Statistics In Policymaking - A Handbook Of Commonly Used Trade Indices And Indicators," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), number tipub2491, 04/05.
    3. Lall, Sanjaya, 2001. "Competitiveness Indices and Developing Countries: An Economic Evaluation of the Global Competitiveness Report," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1501-1525, September.
    4. Federico Bonaglia & Kiichiro Fukasaku, 2003. "Export Diversification in Low-Income Countries: An International Challenge After Doha," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 209, OECD Publishing.
    5. Ruffin, Roy J., 1974. "Comparative advantage under uncertainty," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 261-273, August.
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