Kathmandu: The 14th edition of Footwear and Leather Goods Expo kicked off at Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Hall in Kathmandu Thursday.
The six-day expo has been organised by the Footwear Manufacturers Association of Nepal (FMAN) with the slogan “use of domestic product, basis of self -reliance.”
The objective of the expo is to encourage the people to use the footwear produced domestically and also substitute the import of footwear in the country.
Inaugurating the expo, Minister for Finance Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said that the government was committed to promote footwear industries and other domestic industries to make the country self-reliant in all products.
He said that the government would adopt a policy to support for exporting Nepalese products in the international market.
Achieving economic prosperity is possible only through the self-reliant economy, he said adding that the country would move ahead towards the path of economic prosperity with the end of political issues.
He asked the consumers to use domestic products with priority to encourage the entrepreneurs to produce more quality products.
Senior Vice President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Shekhar Golchha urged the government to promote the domestic industries with priority to produce more products.
Stating that the country has been facing a huge trade deficit which is becoming challenge for the country’s economy, he said that it is necessary to increase domestic products to overcome the challenge of trade deficit.
“The investment friendly environment and policies was must to increase investment in the industrial sector to increase production,” he said.
The higher cost of production of Nepalese industries has affected to compete in the international products, he said.
It is impossible to increase investment and promote domestic industries from the present revenue oriented policies of the government, he added.
Ravin Kumar Shrestha, president of FMAN, highlighted the role of the government in making the country self-reliant in all potential products by providing subsidy and other facilities to them.
The exhibition will be focused on promoting domestic shoes, slippers and leather products rather than sales, he said.
The country is becoming self-reliant in footwear gradually, he said, adding that the domestic footwear covers around 50 per cent of the domestic market at present.
A total of 135 stalls with 10 special pavilions have been set up in the exhibition where more than 60 entrepreneurs related to footwear and leather goods have put their products on display.
The organiser claims that the products will be available at a reasonable price. FMAN has provided up to 15 percent discount on shoes, slippers and other products for the visitors throughout the six day period of the expo.