Call to use e-commerce platforms to promote products of small and medium enterprises
KATHMANDU, June 6: Nepal Cottage and Small Industrial Expo kicked off at the Bhrikuti Mandap Exhibition Hall in Kathmandu from Wednesday.
This is 30th edition of the expo. The expo is being organized by the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI) in collaboration with the Cottage and Small Industry Development Committee, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal, Federation of Small and Medium Enterprise, and National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal.
It has over 200 stalls showcasing products of micro and small enterprise of all 77 districts of the country.
Inaugurating the expo, Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada said that the government was serious about promoting products made from cotton, hemp and bamboo which can compete in the international market. "Small and cottage industries drive economic growth as they use traditional knowledge and skills in manufacturing,” he added. "We tried to promote exports by adopting liberal economic policy for years. But we realized it alone is not enough," Khatiwada said, adding: "Now, we have understood the need for special policies to protect the industries, and grants and incentives to promote exports.”
Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Yadav highlighted the importance of good packaging and branding for small entrepreneurs. “Packaging matters a lot. The entrepreneurs should also focus on making their products noticeable in the market,” he added.
Stating that the government has realized the need for a larger exhibition venue for promotion of domestic industries, Yadav said that the government will start constructing of an exhibition hall at Chobhar in the near future.
Similarly, Shyam Prasad Giri, president of FNCSI, highlighted the challenges that small and micro entrepreneurs are facing. "If we look at India, China and western countries, we see that they are making optimum use of the Internet to reach out to the market. We can see how Amazon, e-Bay and Alibaba are helping small enterprises," he said, adding: "However, most of the people here are using Internet for social networking." Giri also urged the government to help micro and small entrepreneurs so that they get optimum benefits from e-commerce platforms.
Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, said that the concept of franchise will help the small entrepreneurs to reach to a wider market. “For this, the micro entrepreneurs have to work in groups so that they can share knowledge with each other,” he added. He also said the Ministry of Industry would launch a trade portal soon so that prospective buyers would start recognizing Nepali products.
He also said that each local unit in the country should focus at least one product. “This way we will have specialization in at least 753 different products,” he added.
The organizers have given a pavilion to each province. Among others, the expo will feature an exhibition on women entrepreneurship. The organizers are also awarding best entrepreneur.