Government plans e-commerce platform for Nepali microenterprisesCurrently, such enterprises have limited knowledge about selling their products online, putting them out of reach of potential customers, especially in the export market.
The government has put forth its plans to promote goods produced by Nepali micro, small and medium enterprises online by creating an e-commerce platform.
The national e-commerce strategy 2019 which came online since last June, talks about reaching the right market for goods produced by small, medium and cottage industries through e-commerce. According to the strategy, the move will integrate domestic products and services in the global supply chain.
As of now, such enterprises have limited knowledge about selling their products online, putting them out of reach of potential customers, especially in the export market.
Purushottam Ojha, a trade expert and former commerce secretary, said that the strategy could help in connecting domestic value chain globally if implemented properly. “For the purpose, there should be a provision for registration and renewal of firms through the online system,” said Ojha.
Ojha also stressed on the need for enforcing a national e-payment gateway to materialise the government plan. “Also, these enterprises should be made technology-friendly through equipping them with necessary devices along with the capacity building of entrepreneurs,” said Ojha, adding that a separate online portal is also needed to facilitate e-commerce in the segment.
Provided that the planned domestic e-commerce platform for local products is realised, it is expected to provide Nepali micro, small and medium enterprises with a way to work in coordination with similar platforms globally. The government has envisioned developing an informative website and trade portal for easy communication with the importers of Nepali products.
The strategy also talks on working in collaboration with foreign telecommunication companies and online retailers. To lessen the risk of fluctuation in the foreign exchange rate, a separate hedge fund has been planned in the segment.
Lata Pyakurel, former president of the Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries, said the micro, small and medium industries are preparing to join existing domestic e-commerce platforms. “However, there is a need to enhance the quality of local products for them to be competitive,” said Pyakurel.
The strategy also aims to promote the use of local raw materials in Nepali readymade goods. Through strengthening of the backward linkage through e-commerce trade, Nepali raw materials could gain significant value addition at the local level, reads the strategy.
It also talks on ensuring easy credit and interpersonal borrowing facilities to remove the shortfall of capital for concerned entrepreneurs. Establishment of transportation centre and delivery hub at each of the local bodies across the country are among the plans forwarded by the government.