China a reliable, all-weather good neighbor of Nepal, says ambassador

By Nanda Lal Tiwari | | Updated: 2017-08-02 10:41

China has been very open, flexible to help us and let Nepalese product enter Chinese market in a large scale. For instance, in a meeting with director general of commerce department I had, I raised the issue of trade deficit. He asked me what we could sell in Chinese market and assured me of help to provide Alibaba platform for marketing Nepal products by jointly inaugurate the online marketing platform and arranging for nationwide distribution of Nepali product. Unfortunately we don't have any product to fulfill their daily requirement. In summary we need to enhance our production capacity even by seeking Chinese support for some time to come and also find products that can be linked with Chinese value chain. We need help from China for the time being to expand our production capacity by means of Chinese technology, capital and skills to produce as per Chinese market demands. Inviting Chinese state of art manufacturing companies in Nepal to establish their production base would help reduce trade deficit as well.

Seeking preferential treatment to our products for entering the Chinese market is also in our agenda. China has given duty free and quota free access of some 8,000 products to Chinese markets, but this also applies to all least developed countries like us. According to Nepalese businesspersons, majority of the listed products are not related to products that we export. Moreover, we cannot fulfill the kind of condition China has put up for value addition of the given products. Therefore we have to discuss with the Chinese government to help us in marketing our products exportable in China and also expand our production capacity. We have presented a list of 500 products which reflect Nepalese identity and we can export as well to specify under the list of duty free quota free products.

One of the potential sectors in which Chinese investment can be attracted for reducing trade deficit is agriculture. We have a lot of arable land, but that has remained fallow as most youths have flown for foreign employment. And there is ample possibility to increase agricultural production with investment for both domestic demand and export market.

Q:How is the impact of Chinese investment on Nepalese economy and living standard of the people?

A: Chinese investment is in power, infrastructure development, agriculture and tourism that all provides much needed employment opportunities, bring in technology, fulfill infrastructure bottleneck and power supply. Last year, a power plant with Chinese investment supplied power during crisis and became a great relief to Nepal Electricity Authority. The project was completed ahead of time. Chinese investment has, of course, helped improve Nepalese economy and living standard of the people.

Q: What would you say to the prospective Chinese investors?

A: If you aspire to invest in Nepal, just think that Nepal is a land of ample opportunities. It is the second favorable country in terms of doing business in South Asia. It is easy to approach officials and policy makers to put your grievances and investment related problems directly. Please make investment, and take enough benefit and also contribute to Nepali economy. Sustainable development is achieved when both the investors and the receiving country reap the benefits. Nepal is opportunity. Please feel confident. If you face problems, difficulties or have things yet to understand with regard to making investment in Nepal, please contact us, the embassy. We are always ready to serve you.

Q: China has announced this year2017 as Nepal tourism promotion year. How has it contributed to promoting tourism?

A: The announcement makes it clear that Chinese government wants increased number of Chinese tourists to visit Nepal. We, the embassy, organized a program to formally launch the tourism year on April 21, 2017. Vice-Minister of Chinese National Tourism Administration participated in the program and lauded Nepal as a perfect tourist destination. We have also organized programs in other cities in addition to Beijing such as Kunming, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Lanzhou in association with NATTA and NTB and the help of provincial governments. We have been able to communicate the message to the Chinese people that Nepal is a good country for tourism and investment. Now we have to upgrade our infrastructures related to tourism and focus on disseminating information that Nepal is a county of diverse opportunity and birth place of Shakyamuni Buddha. We are also taking some media people to visit Nepal's tourist sites and destinations so that after returning they can share their experiences with greater number of Chinese people here.


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