Celebrating of 200th year of Nepal–UK diplomatic relations
While speaking at the program on, “Celebrating of 200th year of Nepal -United Kingdom diplomatic relations” organized by Nepal Chamber of Commerce. Charge d’ Affairs of British Embassy in Kathmandu H.E. Mr. Guy Harrison has emphasized on the business to business relations to be held in each other country and also highlighted the oppournities and challenges for the further expansion of trade and investment in Nepal. He also said that in order to give a real boost to the economy as relation move forward, we have to prioritize two hundred things that can be done in days to come. He also emphasized on the need of exploring the possibilities of direct air connectivity between two countries.
Speaking at the occasion Mr. Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce recalled the Treaty of Sugauli, in March 1816 was the beginning of diplomatic ties. Both the countries are celebrating 200 years as the Gorkha Soldier got recruited only after this. He emphasized on the need of high level exchange of visits, exchange of trade delegation and participation in trade fairs to give momentum in bilateral relations and to bridge the trade gap.
Addressing at the program, Nirmal Raj Kafle, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that Nepal-Britain relations was established one year before Vienna Convention that shows the historic importance laid between two countries. Nepal is celebrating the anniversary by performing different activities with the formation of the Steering Committee headed by Foreign Secretary and this event could be precursor to that event, Mr. Kafle remarked.
Mr. Jib Raj Koirala, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies emphasized on the speeding up and encouraging bilateral trade, investment promotion and increased exchange of visit economic relations.
Former Nepalese Ambassadors to UK also shed light on the historic relations subsisting between two countries and the future plan of action should be more focused on trade and industry, they opined. They were also of the view of having exhibition/fairs, tourism promotion, technology transfer agriculture facilities, exchange of expert in each other country.
Mr. Naresh Shrestha, Chairman of International Affair Committee of Nepal Chamber of Commerce stated that since Nepal Chamber has MoU with Ealing Chamber of Commerce much will be done to promote relations in days to come.
Present on the occasion were former Nepalese Ambassadors to UK. Mr. Prabal Shumsher JBR, Dr. Singh Bahadur Basnet, Mr. Surya Prasad Shrestha. Executive Committee Members of Nepal Chamber of Commerce respectively.
Nepal-UK trade and economic relations
Nepal faces a trade deficit of 1.56 million dollar in the fiscal year 2013/14. The total export to UK stands at 2.34 million US dollar while the total import stands at 3.9 million US dollar. The major items of import from UK are: Motor car, vehicle, Parts of aero plane and helicopter, Whiskies, Malt not roasted, Sweets biscuits, Chocolate in blocks, slab or bar etc. Foreign investment commitment from UK stands at 1663 million rupees till 2013/14. The major investment is in the areas of banking, tourism, education, technology
An agreement for the promotion and protection of investment between Nepal and UK was signed on March 2, 1993. There are some British joint ventures in the areas of hotel, travel & trekking, tea production, education, garment, bio-technology and consultancy. A sizable number of British tourists visited Nepal for trekking and mountaineering and other leisurely activities. A total of about 35,668 tourists visited Nepal in last year.
Nepal can benefit and take the full advantage of Duty Free Quota Free facilities that is given by the EU to LDCs. For this to happen, the help and support is sought from the UK not only at the government level but also at the private sector level. During the 200 years of celebration we request the concerned