January 30: Global figures for the import of veneer sheets and plywood stand at around US$ 790 million (Rs 1.91 trillion).
Nepal is home to many trees suitable for producing quality veneer and plywood and is also exporting these articles to various countries. But these exports are miniscule and have been dropping since the fiscal year 2012/13. So, Nepal must strengthen its domestic industries if it wants to fully exploit this sector.
And, in order to do this, the government must support the opening of factories, produce the necessary manpower, encourage research and innovation as well as ensure the uninterrupted supply of raw materials. To ensure that the prices are competitive, the government must also give tax-rebate and subsidies to veneer sheet and plywood industries.
Nepal’s geographic location is ideal for producing premium wooden artifacts, including veneer sheets and plywood which, if marketed well, can become a huge export and a good source of foreign currency.
Nepal is already exporting these items to India and the United Kingdom. Now, it must strive to expand the market to other countries of Europe, Asia and North America.