Embassy of Nepal, Canberra organised a comprehensive webinar to explore trade and investment opportunities between Nepal and Australia in the post-COVID-19 context. It was supported by honorary Consulates-General/Consulates. The central theme was that the two countries should go on working together in partnership to further the progress of trade and investment.
It is opened with the welcome remarks by the chair of the event, H.E. Mr. Mahesh Raj Dahal, Ambassador of Nepal to Australia.
The subject matter experts notably government officials, business leaders, entrepreneurs from Nepal, and Australia made compelling presentations with a clear rationale for the visionary campaign.
In the inaugural session, H.E.Dahalstated, “While celebrating the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relation between Nepal and Australia, we are planning a campaign to further the bilateral relation in more significant way through trade and investment. We have considered the importance of building people-to-people links to build strong and mutually beneficial relationship.”
A video message sent by Senator Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and Minister for Finance, Australia, was shown.
He stated, “Australian government is committed to supporting Nepal’s economy recovery from Covid-19 and working to deepen our relation. We very much value Nepal’s commitment to international trade and investment. The welfare of International students is the key priority of the Australian government. While we are working alongside education providers and broader communities to provide support to more than 50,000 Nepalese students. Once again Australian government is granting visas lodged outside of Australia. When Australia’s border reopens, students’ travel resumes promptly.”
He further said, “New air service agreement between two governments enable our businesses to explore aviation arrangement to open new opportunities for tourism, trade, and education. Our investors will begin to explore new opportunities in Nepal such as in hydropower. Australia will continue to work with Nepal to trade capabilities to improve investment climate through its development programs. We are supporting Nepal’s future air services.”
Hon Dr. Bhim Rawal, Chair, Nepal Australia Parliamentary Forum, Parliament of Nepal remarked,” As the volume of trade between Nepal and Australia is increasing, Nepal has to export more goods to Australia to balance trade deficit taking benefit from Australia’s policy of preferential access to the LDC’s imports in Australian market and increasing Foreign Direct Investment from Australia in Nepal.”
The inaugural session also included the remarks by Senator Andrew Bragg, Co-chair of the Nepal Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group, Australian Parliament, Hon Minendra Rijal, Member of Parliament, Nepal, Video message by Hon Peter Khalil, Co-chair of the Nepal Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group, Australian Parliament, remarks by Ms Michelle Wade, Commissioner for Victoria to South Asia, remarks by Mr. Todd Miller, Manager, International Market Webinar Development, Department for Trade and Investment, SA.
We are planning to take the entrepreneurs of Australia to Nepal and make them lobby with the Australian government to create investment-friendly environment by making them take interest in Nepal’s journey of prosperity. -H.E. Dahal
The Presentation on Investment and Trade session included -presentation on investment opportunities and climate in Nepal by Mr. Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies of Nepal and Mr. Sushil Bhatta, CEO, Investment Board of Nepal, presentation on Nepal’s trade by Dr. Baikuntha Aryal, Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies of Nepal and presentation on investment in agriculture sector in Nepal by Dr. Kishor Dahal, Associate Professor of Horticulture.
The session Private Sector Perspectives included presentation by Ms. Caroline Pemberton, Miss Australia 2007, on Climbing Business and Promoting Adventure in Nepal, presentation by Mr. Shekhar Golchha, President of Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and presentation by Mr. Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, President, Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC).
Durapada Sapkota, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Nepalese Embassy in Canberra, set the tone of the conference and moderated the internet forum. Each session was followed by Q and A session.
The event concluded with the vote of thanks/closing remarks by Mr. Deepak Kumar Khadka, Honorary Consul-General of Nepal to New South Wales.
H.E. Dahal shared with Nepalese Australian, “We have initiated the common concern and discussions in the important platform and in the days ahead there would be a series of significant discussions and programs about the trade between the two countries and increasing the Australian investment in Nepal and the way to bring investment to Nepal.”
He added, “We aim to introduce Nepal’s traditionally typical products and the potentially marketable products in Australia. Nepalese diaspora in Australia, being one leading Nepalese diaspora can contribute remarkably to the direction of promoting the trade and investment to create collective funds for Nepalese community. We are planning to take the entrepreneurs of Australia to Nepal and make them lobby with the Australian government to create investment-friendly environment by making them take interest in Nepal’s journey of prosperity. We also aim to make the representatives of the leading trade organisations of Nepal like Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) visit Australia and interact with their counterparts here in Australia.”