In the face of the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, efforts have been underway to revive Nepal’s economy. The government and the private sector have started collaborating with each other to keep the economy running. The Ministry of Finance is now busy revising the budget introduced through ordinance by the previous government. The present coalition government aims to give a boost to the national economy by introducing various policy measures. In its monetary policy for the fiscal year 2021/22, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has laid emphasis on economic recovery. It is needless to say that the country’s economy has been in the doldrums since the outbreak of COVID-19 about 20 months ago. The nation had to adopt tougher measures, including lockdowns and different other restrictions, to bring the contagion under control.
With a drop in new COVID-19 infections and fatalities in the country lately, we now can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. A vaccination drive against the virus has also been moving ahead across the nation. However, the nation is still at risk of new resurgence of the deadly viral disease as new variants are being detected in several parts of the globe. Health experts have already warned of possible emergence of a more infectious third wave of coronavirus. Bearing this in mind, it is still not possible for the country to reopen all the economic and other sectors freely. However, some economic activities are now resuming gradually with the application of the information and communication technology.
The country is now hosting an international trade fair virtually. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba virtually inaugurated the fifth International Women’s Trade Fair 2021 on Wednesday. The event will last till September 6. The Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Association of Nepal (FWEAN) has organised the fair with an objective of creating a common platform for the exhibition, promotion, marketing and selling of the products produced by women entrepreneurs. There is no doubt that women entrepreneurs are among those hardest-hit by the pandemic. Owing to this, the daily routine of common people has been transformed to the digital market and activities. The fair is expected to help promote cost-effective platforms for the new products, services and technologies, bring the producers and buyers together and find best online opportunities to create connection between the businesses and businesses to consumers. The organisers are hopeful that the fair will enable the entrepreneurs to find new market avenues and explore newer ways of marketing.
With some 79 stalls, the trade fair showcases handicrafts, wooden products, natural fibre products, Dhaka and hand-woven goods, jewelleries, decorative items and hand-made paper goods. Twenty-seven of them are from women entrepreneurs while 22 are from the district women entrepreneurs’ associations. Two stalls have been provided to the women entrepreneurs who were the victims of the fire and are socially marginalised. Opening the fair, which has been organised with the support of the International Labour Organisation, FCA and The Asia Foundation, Prime Minister Deuba said that entrepreneurship and economic development would help revive the economy that was destabilised by the global public health crisis. He also assured that the government was working to vaccinate all the citizens against COVID-19 soon so that all the economic activities could be resumed.