The Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) will soon launch an online platform that can be used by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to promote their products in the International market, reports The Kathmandu Post. The centre intends to upgrade their portal to a full-fledged e-commerce platform where SMEs can sell their products to markets abroad.
The current website of the TEPC provides detailed information on the country’s foreign trade. It provides information on the quantity of goods sold abroad and their monetary value, data on imports and exports through various customs points, and country-specific export data that enables traders to get a fair idea on change in demand for particular goods in export destinations. Soon the portal will also connect domestic producers with foreign buyers.
TEPC Executive Director Sarad Bickram Rana said, “We are planning to upgrade the website so that SMEs can promote their goods abroad. We will eventually upgrade the website into a full-fledged e-commerce platform so that SMEs can sell their goods online. We have already started developing necessary software for this purpose.”
This new platform will provide another avenue for Nepal to exports products. This is expected to raise export earnings and bridge the trade gap. Last year, the trade gap increased to Rs. 917 billion which is 30 percent more than the year before.
TEPC is working with support from the International Trade Centre (ITC), a multilateral agency under the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.
ITC recently provided training on online marketing to operators of SMEs. Rana said, “The promoters of SMEs were taught how to take photograph of their products, add descriptions and upload them on the new portal to be launched by the TEPC. In addition, the SMEs were also provided training on use of international e-commerce portals such as eBay, Amazon and Alibaba to publicise their products.”
The e-commerce platform will not be useable to the SMEs until the national payment gateway is built first. Currently, Nepal Rastra Bank is conducting studies to build the national payment gateway. This gateway will cover all payment gateways operated by various companies and streamline processes related to online payment and settlement.