The Himalayan Times, April 18, 2019
The country’s exports to China have come down by a whopping 27.6 per cent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, thanks to significant drop in the export of pashmina and woollen carpets to the northern neighbour.
A recent macroeconomic report of Nepal Rastra Bank shows that the country could export goods worth only Rs 1.35 billion to China during the first eight months of fiscal 2018- 19 though goods worth Rs 1.86 billion were exported during the same period in the previous year.
Though the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies and the Trade and Export Promotion Centre — two government bodies responsible for analysing trade issues — are yet to study on why exports to China have plummeted, NRB statistics show that fall in export of pashmina and carpets, among others have resulted in the whopping drop in exports to China.
As per the central bank’s statistics, export of pashmina and woollen carpets to China, a major market for both Nepali goods, fell by 39 per cent to Rs 38.5 million and by 21 per cent to Rs 138 million, respectively.
Durga Bahadur Thapa, president of Nepal Pashmina Industry Association, said that the export of pashmina to China has been declining primarily due to two reasons — country’s failure to promote its pashmina brand in China and the availability of pashmina that resemble Nepali products in the Chinese market. “A few Chinese firms have started producing pashmina that resemble Nepali products, thereby reducing the demand for Nepali pashmina,” he said.
Regarding the fall in export of carpets, Ram Gurung, president of Nepal Carpet Manufacturing and Export Association, said that Nepali carpets are failing to compete with those available in the Chinese market.
“The cost of production for Nepali carpets is higher and prices are comparatively higher compared to other carpet brands available in the Chinese market,” he added.