Kathmandu, February 24, 2017:Â The National Industrial Goods and Technology Exhibition kicked off at Bhrikutimandap Exhibition Hall on Thursday.
The six-day event organised by the Cottage and Small Industries Development Board was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi.
Ramesh Chandra Upadhyaya, acting executive director of the board, said that the exhibition aimed to promote local products manufactured by small and cottage enterprises. â€œIt will also provide exposure to small and cottage enterprises and help them promote their brands.â€
Minister of State for Industry Kanchan Chandra Bade said that the small and cottage industry was a driver for the development of the country.
â€œThough the industry is relatively small, it is vital for the country as it provides jobs to people in remote areas,â€ he said. â€œHowever, these small and infant industries are the precursor of large-scale industry in the future.â€
According to the Department of Cottage and Small Industries, there are 192,250 registered cottage and small industries in Nepal. Out of the total, 50 percent are running below capacity and the rest have been shut down after the 2015 earthquakes and the economic blockade by India.
The department said that the cottage and small industrial sector accounted for about 12 percent of the GDP until a few years ago. However, the contribution has dipped to less than 5 percent currently as the government has not been able to launch programmes and policies to help and promote the sector.
According to Upadhyaya, the theme of the exhibition this year is â€˜Let Us be Proud of Made in Nepal and Use Homemade Productsâ€™. â€œThe objective of the expo is to promote Nepali made products in the national and international arenas.â€
The exhibition hosts moreÂ than 300 small and cottageÂ industries and entrepreneurs from across the country. Products like garments made of natural fibre, gemstones, nettle powder, herbal products, Mithila paintings, bamboo craft and goods, metal utensils, khukuri, handmade lokta paper, organicÂ coffee, textile products, garments made of handloom and leather products are on display and sale at the exhibition.