Nepal Launches First Trade Portal
SGS was appointed by the Government of Nepal in July 2015 to supervise the design, procurement, and implementation of both NTIP and the Nepal National Single Window (NNSW). SGS also assisted the Nepal Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) with the sourcing, compilation and publication of information on the portal.
Funded by the World Bank and operated by TEPC, NTIP was unveiled by Nepal’s Minister of Commerce, Romi Gauchan Thakali, the Executive Director of the TEPC, Ishwari Prasad Ghimire, and World Bank Lead Transport Specialist, Diep Nguyen-van Houtte.
NTIP provides the Nepal business community with a secure and personalized single entry point to all Nepal trade related information, such as information about all regulatory requirements, trade procedures, and fees. It also provides a searchable resource library for all available documents and materials related to trade in Nepal.
NTIP is based on the World Bank Trade Portal Toolkit, which was originally implemented in Laos and has since been successfully implemented in a number of developing countries to facilitate the rapid deployment of national trade portals.
SGS, a leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, recommended leveraging this existing framework and solution to shorten the preparation, development and launch cycle. The cost savings achieved by using the World Bank toolkit will fund the introduction of further innovative features and functionality.
Additional functionality will be made possible thanks to the toolkit’s PHP framework, used to develop Web 2.0 applications. To avoid significant customization and further reduce costs, SGS recommended that the add-ons and extension be carried out as independent services.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Thakali said, “The government of Nepal is committed to creating a favorable environment for the promotion of trade and business in a sustained way, in order to make it competitive internationally by reducing non-tariff barriers along with enhancing trade facilitation. I believe that the Nepal Trade Information Portal is a solution that will help improve Nepal’s trade efficiency, empowering the trading community by providing immediate online access from a single source to all legislation, policies, procedures, tariff data and necessary guidelines from across trade-related bodies and organizations”.
“It is critical that both importers and exporters have access to complete, reliable, and clear information regarding the policies and procedures applied to the trading of goods internationally,” said Ishwari Prasad Ghimire of TEPC. “The Nepal Trade Information Portal is a key tool in our efforts to present information that will assist traders as they seek to do business, providing a key source for all relevant guidance. Whether it be identifying the rules and regulations related to the import or export of a certain commodity or guidance and procedures for securing the required licenses or permits, the Trade Portal provides a simple means to get the information needed.”
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