August 18, 2022 06:17 PM NPT
By: Sara Pahari
KATHMANDU, August 18: The sixth edition of the ‘International Women’s Trade Expo’ organized by the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs' Associations of Nepal (FWEAN) started in Lalitpur on Thursday. The expo is being held from August 18 to 22 with the slogan ‘Eat Local, Wear Local, Use Local, Support Local Entrepreneurship’.
As claimed by the organizers, there are 109 stalls with 218 exhibitors - two in each stall. Of the 109 stalls, 14 are of agricultural products, 27 of handicrafts, seven of business and services, five food stalls, and 24 district-level entrepreneurs. Small and medium women entrepreneurs, traders and women exporters as well as international women entrepreneurs are participating in the trade fair from all across the country. According to the organizers, the participation of over 50,000 visitors is expected in the fair in five days. Similarly, trade worth Rs 20 million is expected at the expo.
Inaugurating the first day of the expo on Thursday, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba expressed his belief that such fairs will expand the business network as well as make the relationship and coordination between businessmen and consumers effective.
Shova Gyawali, the first vice-president of FWEAN, said, “The trade expo has focused on bringing together female entrepreneurship from different districts at one place for the exchange of ideas, technologies and heritage, for which it has focused on stalls carrying specialities of all seven provinces.”
Gyawali asked the government to provide suitable land for the establishment of a Women’s Craft Village that will provide a venue for women entrepreneurs from different sectors to come together to showcase their products.
In response to FWEAN’s demand, PM Deuba said that the government was willing to provide basic infrastructure, land to the organization to uplift women entrepreneurship.
However, the government is yet to hand over the land to women entrepreneurs.
Deepa Kumari Karn, proprietor of Deepa Mithila Art Gallery, shared, “The COVID-19 pandemic badly affected my business and I had to bear a great loss. I see this expo as an opportunity to reach my customers for my handmade products and expand networking to promote Mithila Art.” According to Karn, it takes her a couple of hours to draw an A4 sized art and she sells them for an average of Rs 2000.
Acknowledging the contribution of women-led businesses to the upliftment of the country’s economy, Prime Minister Deuba awarded entrepreneurs Ambica Shrestha, Basu Maya Tamang and Sharmila Lama at the expo.