Economic policies in Nepal intend to alleviate poverty. Trade (mainly export promotion) is one of the policy instruments adopted by the government to reduce poverty and global integration of Nepal through WTO membership. However, the benefits of WTO membership are not automatic and the country needs to build its supply-side capacities in order to truly capitalize on the benefits of global integration. At the same time, the membership also added challenges to fulfill international commitments made therein (basically related to WTO compatible legislatives and further liberalization of trade).
In 2003, the Government of Nepal conducted Nepal Trade and Competitiveness Study (NTCS) to identify, crystallize and prioritize the areas of interventions for enhancing Nepal's international competitiveness. For following up on the recommendations made by NTCS and exploration of new areas of Nepal's competitiveness; it was felt necessary to broaden the scope and coverage of such assistance.
Therefore, this project is jointly initiated by UNDP and Government of Nepal to build the capacity and capabilities of the government, the private sector, and citizens in rural and urban areas to take advantage of international income and employment opportunities.