KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 18
The United States-Nepal Council on Trade and Investment, under the United States-Nepal Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), held its fifth meeting virtually recently to promote expanded bilateral trade and investment in both goods and services.
The meeting was co-chaired by Christopher Wilson, assistant United States trade representative for South and Central Asia, and Baikuntha Aryal, secretary of commerce and supplies at Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies, Nepal government. Both delegations included officials from trade, finance, labour, and other regulatory agencies.
During the meeting, representatives discussed a range of bilateral trade and investment-related issues covered under the TIFA, including, among others, customs and trade facilitation, intellectual property, digital trade and e-commerce, labour, financial services, investment promotion, trade in agriculture products, and utilisation of the Nepal Trade Preference Programme, as per a media release.
The United States affirmed its engagement with Nepal on its efforts to foster innovation and investment through improvements in intellectual property protection and enforcement.
Nepal provided an update on its initiatives to increase intellectual property protection through legislative changes.
Recognising the important role of digital trade in fostering economic growth, Nepal and the US agreed to explore ways to deepen engagement on policy developments affecting the digital economy. The United States welcomed Nepal’s efforts to promote internationally recognised worker rights and the implementation of Nepal’s labour laws. Nepal affirmed the importance it attaches to worker rights and both countries agreed to engage in constructive discussions on these issues.
The United States also welcomed confirm