Honourable Dr. Biswo Nath Poudel, Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), addressed to the opening session of the Third Ministerial Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific today.
While addressing the Conference, Hon. Dr. Poudel highlighted the current state of the world economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges posed by the global crisis.
Hon. Dr. Poudel said that the impact of the pandemic on different sectors of the economy in the Asia Pacific region has exposed vulnerabilities, especially in the agriculture sector, manufacturing, and service sectors in different proportions and scales. He said that economic resilience is crucial for recovery and the countries with strong social protection programs, quality infrastructure, policy stability, strong export base and safeguards against climate events have fared well.
The Vice-Chairman further said that implementation of several initiatives towards digitization of governance and adoption of inclusive Civil Registration and Vital Statistics will be useful in economic resiliency. He mentioned that resiliency in the manufacturing sector can be improved by investing in building seamless connectivity in the transportation, energy, and ICT sectors. He also called for regional initiatives to build resiliency against the challenges posed by extreme climate events.
Hon. Dr. Poudel underlined the need to increase the investment in transportation infrastructure and renewal energies and urged UNESCAP to push initiatives such as Regional Road Map for Power System Connectivity and promoting Cross-Border Electricity Connectivity for sustainable development. He said that the integration of sustainable development goals through regional cooperation in several priority areas is very important to support and complement national efforts and mechanisms.
While highlighting several measures adopted by the government of Nepal to cope with the pandemic and its aftermath affects, the Vice-Chairman mentioned the several policies, priorities, and measures in trade and foreign direct investment sectors initiated by the Government of Nepal to build an inclusive and resilient economy.
The Vice-Chairman also shared that Nepal is implementing various programs to achieve SDGs and mainstreaming it at all levels in the budgeting and planning process within the spirit of leaving no one behind. He mentioned that Nepal is preparing a graduation strategy along with country-specific trade integration policies and stressed the need for more supportive measures from development partners on ODA, FDI, trade facilitation, and technology transfer in order to achieve smooth, sustainable, and irreversible graduation.
Hon. Dr. Poudel expressed his belief that the Asia-Pacific region can improve its collective resiliency by working together and collaborating on trade and investment issues.
Later today, Hon. Dr. Biswo Nath Poudel had a meeting with H. E. Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the ESCAP on the sideline of the Conference. On the occasion, the two sides discussed the cooperation between Nepal and ESCAP in the fields of capacity building, knowledge sharing and facilitation to LDC graduation.
Hon. Dr. Poudel is leading the Nepali delegation to the Third Ministerial Conference on the Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration. The members of the delegation include Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the ESCAP H. E. Ganesh Prasad Dhakal and officials of the NPC and the Embassy. The Conference is being organized jointly by ESCAP and Asian Development Bank on 28-30 September 2022 in Bangkok and online.
Embassy of Nepal
28 September 2022