Ambassador invites KCCI to participate in Nepal Investment Summit


KARACHI: Ambassador of Nepal Ms Sewa Lamsal Adhikari Tuesday invited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to participate in the forthcoming Nepal Investment Summit scheduled to be held in Katmandu on March 2-3, 2017.

Exchanging views with KCCI Office-bearers during her visit to the KCCI, the Nepalese Ambassador added that the Investment Summit was being organized to promote Nepal as the investment destination for the next decade which will showcase investment opportunities especially to large scale investors who were keen to explore opportunities in new destinations.

President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Senior Vice President KCCI Asif Nisar, Vice President Mohammad Younus Soomro, Honorary Consul General of Nepal Mushtaq K. Chhapra, Commercial Attaché of Nepal Prashant Thakur and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present on the occasion. Nepalese Ambassador urged the Pakistani Business and Industrial community to invest in different sectors of Nepalese economy, particularly the hydropower sector which has the potential to offer lucrative opportunities whereas major facilities are accorded to the investors in Nepal.

She was of the view that although the trade volume between Pakistan and Nepal was currently not at a satisfactory level but the situation can be improved as the two countries have tremendous potential in the areas of trade, tourism, investment and cultural promotion. Sewa Adhikari stressed the need to exchange business delegations for enhancing trade and promotion of investment opportunities between Nepal and Pakistan. “We will fully facilitate such delegations from Karachi Chamber in this regard”, she added.

She opined that agriculture and tourism were the main areas where both countries can collaborate but the logistics issues, lack of communication and proper marketing were some hurdles in the expansion of trade. She said that the trade ties have a much higher chance of improving as both the countries were important members of the SAARC, share common international views and enjoy good relations and background. She was of the view that Nepal and Pakistan have been enjoying older and friendly bilateral relations ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations. “Our relations are eminent, strong and based on inseparable cultural activities”, she added.

She was fairly optimistic that 2017 is going to be a remarkable year to enhance bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Nepal. Earlier, President KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo, while welcoming the Nepalese Ambassador, stressed that enhanced trade between Pakistan and Nepal can prove to be extremely advantageous, considering the low transportation costs.

He noted that the volume of trade between Pakistan and Nepal has not reached to significant levels due to limited trade operations. However, in FY16, Pakistan’s export to Nepal increased gigantically to $108 million as against exports of a mere $2.73 million in the corresponding period of last year. A sharp surge was witnessed in the exports of textiles, cements and food items to Nepal, he added. He further informed that Pakistan’s import from Nepal during FY16 declined 78% to $0.13 million as against imports of $0.59 million in the same period last year whereas the trade balance has usually remained in favor of Pakistan.

Touching upon some of the potential areas for enhancing trade, President KCCI said that as tea consumption was one of the highest in Pakistan whereas Nepal was one of the finest tea producers, this creates a good trade opportunity between the two countries. Similarly, in recent past, Nepal has emerged as one of the best quality producer of coffee. Hence, the Pakistani coffee entrepreneurs must avail advantage of geographic proximity in having these products at competitive price.

He further pointed out that Pakistan and Nepal hold strong potential to enter into joint ventures particularly in the fields of textile, pharmaceutical, health and human development. Agriculture has special potential for expansion of bilateral trade. Nepal and Pakistan can explore products of comparative advantage favored by specific climatic zones in both countries, he added. He further stressed the need to have direct air link between Nepal and Pakistan, increased exchange of business delegations and establishment of display centers in each other’s countries which will boost the trade ties and enable both the countries to enjoy increased profits.

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