Quality control key to augment garment business: DPM Mahaseth

Kathmandu, Mar. 10: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth has stressed on the need to pay attention to quality control and assurance of Nepali products, including readymade garments to increase exports along with domestic consumption.

Inaugurating the 29th Annual General Meeting of Garment Association-Nepal (GAN) on Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Mahaseth said that the businessmen should always keep quality in mind while producing goods as quality is the main basis to win the trust of consumers. “Quality control and quality assurance are a must to present our products in the global market and make them competitive. When we produce quality goods, definitely, it will attract consumers towards using our products and also help for its promotion,” he said.

Stating that the import of goods, including readymade garments, is significantly higher than export, he emphasized that it was a must to focus firstly on increasing domestic consumption instead of export.

“If imports are controlled by increasing the production of goods that are produced in the country, trade deficit suffered by the country can be reduced. After increasing the production, it is certain that it will be exported to the global market,” said Deputy Prime Minister Mahaseth. He assured the private sector that the government was ready to support increasing production, consumption and export promotion as well.

Stating that the economic development and prosperity can be achieved only through the coordination and cooperation between the government and the private sector, he said that the present government is committed to provide all necessary support in this regard.

Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Damador Bhandari said that the present government was committed to improve the investment climate in the country to attract both the domestic and foreign investment in the country.

“The invest summit is scheduled to be held in April. We have to amend various acts and regulations before it. So, the government will make its effort to amend all necessary laws and act fast before the summit,” he said.

On the occasion, parliamentarian and chairman of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee Ramhari Khatiwada said that the government should create a business-friendly environment in the country first.

He clarified that the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority should not touch the private sector. As the chairman of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee, he said that he would act firmly to bar the CIAA from intervening in the private sector.

President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Chandra Prasad Dhakal said that all the political parties should be uniformed in the economic agenda regardless of the party. He said since the economy is a complex issue, the commitment of all political parties and others is necessary to solve the economic problems.

He said that the government should work to boost the confidence of the private sector and the general public to make the country’s economy viable.

“The inflow of remittance has increased significantly and the foreign currency reserves have been the highest ever. But the pace of the internal economy could not gain momentum. So, it is a must to increase the confidence of citizens and businessmen to expand business and strengthen economy,” he said.

President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce Rajendra Malla emphasised branding and logo of products for the promotion of goods at home and abroad.

He said that if the brand and logo of the products can be maintained, the export of Nepali goods, including readymade garments, can be significantly increased and made competitive in the international market.

GAN President Pashupati Dev Pandey demanded that the government arrange for providing concessional loans for the export-oriented industries, including readymade garments, increase cash incentives and support for promotion in the international market.

Stating that the export of readymade garments has been increasing over the years, he said that government support was necessary to make it competitive in the global market by reducing cost of production. “High cost of production is a challenge for us to be competitive in the international market. So, we are looking for support to reduce cost of production,” he said.

The export of readymade garments, which was above Rs. 14 billion in the 2000s, had dropped as low as Rs. 1 billion. But now, it is reviving and reached Rs. 9 billion in the last fiscal year.

Currently, around 100 garment industries are in operation where about 35,000 to 40,000 employees are employed directly. On the occasion, GAN honoured three industries—TRICOT Industries, Nepal Fashion Private Limited and Pulse Fashion Solution Private Limited— as the highest garment exporters in the last fiscal year 2022/23. 

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