KATHMANDU, NEPAL (10 July 2017) — The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $21 million policy-based loan to support the Government of Nepal’s efforts to simplify, harmonize, and modernize the country’s trade processes to meet international standards.

“It is important for a landlocked country like Nepal to explore better and a more modern trade facilitation as a means to promote exports and, eventually, economic growth and development,” said Sonoko Sunayama, an ADB Senior Economist. “Hopefully the project can help the Government of Nepal achieve this for its growth and development.”

The project will support Nepal in developing its national policy and legal framework for trade facilitation as well as customs procedures. It will also strengthen the organizational structure of the country’s Department of Customs to overall expand exports and increase export competitiveness.

It will help the country fulfill its commitments to the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization as well as related international standards on customs. The project will also assist Nepal to integrate better, in terms of trade facilitation and customs, with the standards of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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