Reviving Nepal’s luxury pashmina wool exports

7 February 2023
ITC News

The International Trade Centre with the Government of Nepal is implementing a five-year strategy to boost exports of the country’s famous traditional Himalayan Chyangra Pashmina wool products into regional and global luxury markets.

In 2021, Nepal exported Pashmina shawls worth $19. 31 million, up by 18% as compared to 2020. The goal is to reach $75 million worth of sustainable Pashmina exports by the end of 2026.

The ‘National Pashmina Sector Export Strategy 2022-2026’ envisages increasing the supply capacities of entrepreneurs, reintegrating them into relevant markets, and creating greater economic and business opportunities for small businesses working throughout the Pashmina value chain.

“I am confident this will serve as an action-oriented blueprint to enhance Nepal’s trade performance,” said Damodar Bhandari, Nepal’s Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies.

The planned course of action lays out a clear path towards the sustainable growth of Nepali authentic Chyangra Pashmina and will have long-term positive socio-economic impact on farmers, producers and exporters.

“I expect support from all concerned stakeholders including government agencies, development partners and the private sector to effectively implement the strategy,” Bhandari added.

The approach was developed through consultations with relevant stakeholders by Nepal’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), with technical support from the ITC, under the European Union-funded EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Programme (TIP).

“We are proud to have assisted in the designing of the strategy and are committed to extending our support in every step of its implementation. Truly Nepali pashmina products are to be branded and sold in luxury markets in target markets offering benefits to goat farmers, women weavers, and exporters,” said Ashish Shah, Director of Country Programs, International Trade Centre.

“With EU backing, ITC is already working together with fibre processing companies and the Nepal Pashmina Industries Association to create backward linkages ensuring that Nepalese high-quality fibre produced in the Himalayas is processed within the country,” he added.

There are challenges to expanding the market of Nepali Pashmina and regaining its reputation for excellence. The value chain needs to be reorganized, and the capacity of small businesses to improve productivity and quality needs to be built up.

The strategy’s detailed plan of action and strong mechanism for implementation, including clear roles and responsibilities for all concerned stakeholders, provides the structure for its success.

“I am fully hopeful this strategy will help Nepal’s pashmina industry move forward with a clear purpose, promoting linkages between various actors and diversifying its export basket and target markets,” said Peteris Ustubs, Director for Middle East, Asia, EU Department for International Partnerships. 

Nepal’s private sector is also enthusiastic to see this strategic document coming into force.

“This is a major stride towards reviving the glorious reputation of Himalayan Chyangra Pashmina for its quality and traditional craftmanship and regaining the international market through quality and increased supply,” said Vijoy Kumar Dugar , President of Nepal Pashmina Industries Association (NPIA).

“We are ready to extend all-out support to the government to effectively implement it,” added Dugar.


About EU-Nepal TIP

The EU-funded four-year Trade and Investment Programme was launched in February 2020 and assists the Government of Nepal in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction by increasing trade and participation in regional and global value chains. Implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the project also provides assistance to the sustainable and inclusive development of Nepal’s coffee and pashmina value chains, with a focus on export development.