Nepal envoy stresses for tapping Pak-Nepal trade potential

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad ( Commerce Reporter+DNA ) Nepal and Pakistan have great potential to increase bilateral trade and commerce and they should focus on promoting direct connectivity and linkages between their private sectors to tap trade opportunities up to full potential.

Bharat Raj Paudyal, Ambassador of Nepal made these remarks during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

He said agriculture is an area of good mutual cooperation and both should explore products of comparative advantages favored by their specific climatic zones. Pakistan’s know-how in agro-processing industries should be expanded to Nepal through establishment of joint ventures. He saidNepal produces best quality coffee products and Pakistani entrepreneurs should take advantage of our geographic proximity to enhance import of these products at competitive price.

Nepal envoy said that Pakistani entrepreneurs in collaboration with their Nepalese counterparts successfully organized three consecutive single country exhibitions in Kathmandu in 2010, 2011 and 2012. They should now reciprocate by hosting similar trade fairs of Nepalese products inPakistan which will contribute to improving bilateral trade.

He said Nepal offers great investment potential in tourism, hydropower, agriculture, mines and mineral sectors and Pakistani investors should explore Nepal for investment. He assured that Nepal Embassy would facilitate exchange of business delegations to further enhance trade and investment between both countries.

In his welcome address, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said Nepal and Pakistan enjoy cordial relations, but these are not matched in trade and economic relations as Pak-Nepal bilateral trade of just USD 4.8 million is hopeless. He stressed that Nepal should focus on Pakistani textile products, clothes, sports goods, oil seeds, surgical instruments and leather products, which are known for their good quality in the world. He said hydro power could also be an attractive area of mutual cooperation between Pakistan and Nepal.

He said solid institutional and legal foundations for business collaboration exist between the two countries including Pak-Nepal Joint Business Council, Pak-Nepal Joint Economic Commissions & SAFTA while Pak-Nepal Bilateral Trade Agreement provides MFN treatment with respect to customs duties, taxes, fees and charges of any kind levied on export & import of goods and commodities. There is a need to encourage the businessmen of both countries to fully avail these platforms and concessions for promoting trade, investment and joint ventures.

He said ICCI is planning to host SAARC Capital Chambers Conference in September this year and Nepal Embassy should support this initiative as the purpose of this conference is to promote regional integration and trade in SAARC region.

30 June 2013