Press releases

Nepalese businesses to go greener, strengthen competitiveness, with new Trade for Sustainable Development Hub

27 February 2020
ITC News

Nepal becomes sixth country to host chain of International Trade Centre hubs that support the development of sustainable business models

(Kathmandu) The International Trade Centre (ITC) has announced the launch of the Trade for Sustainable Development (T4SD) Hub Nepal, the latest in its network to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to develop sustainable and viable business models. T4SD Hub Nepal will be hosted by the Agro Enterprise Center (AEC), the agricultural wing of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and industry (FNCCI).

A central part of the hub’s work will be to develop solutions to help MSMEs embrace and integrate sustainable business strategies into their daily operations. This will improve competitiveness and increase their participation in international value chains.

It will serve as a one-stop shop for companies to build sustainable business strategies around these issues to access international markets as well as green finance providers.
In addition to Nepal, ITC has already launched T4SD hubs in Ghana, Kenya, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Peru and Viet Nam.

Launching the Hub in Kathmandu, ITC Acting Executive Director Ms. Dorothy Tembo said: ‘MSMEs play a crucial role in Nepal’s exports, and the hub will serve companies in sectors such as coffee, medicinal and aromatic plants, and tea. I am very pleased to launch the T4SD Hub Nepal which forms a network of hubs that offer concrete, scalable solutions for today's most pressing sustainability issues, including climate resilience and resource efficiency. And it will allow us help enterprises to better understand what it takes to comply with voluntary standards such as GLOBAL G.A.P. or the EU Organic Standard and USDA Organic Standard, and why these matter.’

A key focus of the Nepal T4SD Hub work will provide much-needed technical assistance to MSMEs on climate change adaptation, resource efficiency, circular economy, market access, voluntary sustainability standards and certification.

Dr. Hari Sharma Neupane, CEO of AEC said: ‘The Trade for Sustainable Development (T4SD) Hub Nepal provides selected MSMEs of tea, coffee, and medicinal aromatic plants sector with the unique opportunity to receive customized services to help their business adopt green business practices and make them sustainable in the long run. I truly believe that the future of Nepalese MSMEs depends on positioning their products as high quality, environment friendly and socially acceptable to the consumers in the international market. Hence, adopting green business initiatives is the best way forward for them.’

In the next 24 months, the hub will deploy a unique programme comprised of blended learning activities, including e-learning and customized face-to-face coaching sessions. The learning activities will incorporate ITC’s existing tools and services and provide guidance to MSMEs on ways to integrate sustainable practices into their core business models.

The Agro Enterprise Center (AEC) was selected to host the T4SD Hub in Nepal following a competitive process. AEC will work closely with ITC staff and sustainability experts to implement the various work streams of the technical assistance. MSMEs that will be part of the hub’s coaching programme in the first two years of hub operations will be part of the pilot phase of the programme, which will be largely led by ITC. Following this, it is foreseen that AEC will have the needed capacities to lead the continuation of the hub’s programme and mentor Nepalese MSMEs in establishing sustainability-driven export businesses.

About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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International Trade Centre
Jarle Hetland, Media Officer
P: + 41 22 730 0145
M: + 41 79 582 9180
E: hetland [at] (hetland[at]intracen[dot]org)