Posted on November 03, 2018

Under the auspices of Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari, Rt. Hon. President of Nepal, an interactive business meeting was held at Hotel Sheraton, Doha on 30th Oct 2018. The meeting witnessed participation by H.E. Mr. Yousuf bin Mohamed Al-Hail, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Nepal HE Ramesh Prasad Koirala. On the sidelines of this meeting, Dr. R. Seetharaman gave insight on Nepal Economy. 

He said “According to IMF Oct 2018 Outlook, Nepal economy is expected to grow by 6.3%. The main sector of the economy is agriculture, which employs over 70 percent of the population and accounts for 33 percent of GDP. As Nepal is home to the highest mountains in the world, tourism has been steadily growing in importance and is an important source of revenue. The growth rate is the result of stable government, good monsoon and implementation of big projects.”

Dr. R.Seetharaman gave insight on fiscal and monetary developments,” The Nepal government has presented a budget of $12.15bn for the 2018-19 fiscal year, with a target of achieving an economic growth rate of 8%. Development of highways, railways, irrigation, energy and urban infrastructure, post-earthquake reconstruction and good governance were the other priorities of the budget. It aims to create additional employment for 500,000 people in the next fiscal. The government has sought to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in export oriented sectors. Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the country's central bank. NRB is currently supervising 196 banks and financial institutions, including 28 commercial banks, for an economy of just $21bn.”

Dr. R.Seetharaman highlighted on Qatar-Nepal bilateral relationships, he said Nepal and Qatar established diplomatic relations on January 21, 1977. One of the major tourist attractions, the highest peak of the world, Mount Everest and Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha, are in Nepal. Ambassador Prof Koirala lauded more than 400,000 Nepali expatriates in Qatar, constituting the second largest community in the country, for contributing in construction and development of Qatar. Nepal has a huge potential for investment in various sectors such as hydropower, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and other sectors.  400,000 Nepali expatriates in Qatar, constituting the second largest community in the country, for contributing in construction and development of Qatar.

Dr. R.Seetharaman gave insight on Kuwait-Nepal relationship, he said Kuwait and Nepal established diplomatic relations way back in 1972 and since then relations have grown steadily. More than 60,000 Nepali citizens live in Kuwait and Nepal was the first country in South-East Asia to condemn the brutal Iraqi invasion in Kuwait. Kuwait has shown keen interest in investment in Nepal and plans to offer them options in hydro-power sector.  Nepal is a tourist paradise with so many attractions disclosed the foreign secretary and they would like to welcome tourists from Kuwait to experience the charm and beauty of Nepal.”

Dr. R.Seetharaman highlighted on India – Nepal bilateral relationships. He said “India – Nepal trade was above $7bn in 2017-18. Nepal’s main imports from India are petroleum products; motor vehicles and spare parts, rice & paddy and vegetables.Nepal’s export basket to India mainly comprises jute goods, zinc sheet, textiles, threads & polyester yarn.Indian firms are the biggest investors in Nepal, accounting for about 40% of the total approved foreign direct investments. There are about 150 Indian ventures operating in Nepal. They are engaged in manufacturing, services, power sector and tourism industries. Around 600,000 Indians are living/domiciled in Nepal”