In partnership with prime contractor Deloitte, J.E. Austin is implementing the five-year USAID Trade and Competitiveness Activity that will provide opportunities for the Nepali economy as it recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Activity will enable Nepal to capitalize on global integration to diversify toward higher quality and higher value exports, foster sustainable job growth and income-generating opportunities for those that have previously been left behind by economic growth, and create greater sustainability and resiliency. To achieve this, the Activity deliberately promotes the integration of women, youth, and marginalized groups into markets to participate in economic opportunities created as Nepal’s economy grows. It will increase jobs and exports while supporting the private sector in managing risks from climate change, COVID-19, and other threats. Through this Activity, USAID will unlock new sources of financing and investment, including green growth financing and climate partnership.
In year one of the project, J.E. Austin produced a comprehensive tourism market systems assessment, including an analysis of global and domestic tourism trends, expenditures by demographic, key stakeholder mapping, identification of constraints – such as access to finance, business development capacity, and effects of COVID-19 – and opportunities for the project to provide support to SMEs, development management organizations, women, and youth. The project is currently working to identify business development service providers to provide capacity-building support to the Lwang, Darai, and Tharu homestay communities in Kaski and Chitwan.
J.E. Austin also performed an analysis of the agriculture market and identified lentils, cardamom, and ginger as value chains with high opportunity for SME growth. As a follow-on activity, J.E. Austin lead an in-depth analysis of each value chain, including stakeholder mapping, integration into Indian market chains, agricultural finance, key leverage points, and sector growth strategies.