KARACHI: Ambassador of Nepal Ms. Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, while terming the ties between Pakistan and Nepal as “excellent”, stressed the need to initiate direct flights between the two countries which would surely bring the people and business communities closer to each other and also help in promoting plenty of trade and tourism opportunities available in both countries.
In order to improve trade and investment ties between the two countries, she stressed that there was a need to identify the potential sectors in both countries whereas the business and industrial community of Karachi could look into the possibility of exporting surgical, pharmaceutical, textiles, leather products, Gems & jewelry, lawn fabrics, fruits, vegetables and agricultural products particularly dates which are not being produced in Nepal.
Honorary Consul General of Nepal Mushtaq Chappra, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid, Chairman of Fairs, Exhibitions & Trade Delegations Subcommittee Naveed Farooki and KCCI Managing Committee Members also attended the meeting.
Sewa Adhikari advised the business community of Karachi to visit Nepal with a view to further explore opportunities of enhancing trade ties with their counterparts in Nepal as there was a huge potential to improve the existing trade ties between the two countries.
She categorically stated that Nepal wants to improve trade ties with Pakistan and the Nepalese Embassy would fully facilitate all the future endeavors of business community of Karachi which were focused on improve Pakistan-Nepal trade and investment.
“Nepal has been producing good quality big cardamoms which are being exported to numerous countries. Pakistan has also been importing cardamoms from other countries to overcome local demand therefore, I suggest that Pakistani traders should look in the possibilities of importing cardamoms from Nepal”, she added.
She also appreciated that Pakistan’s support to the people of Nepal during difficult times, particularly the overwhelming support extended by the business community of Pakistan in response to the earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015.
President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, in his remarks, stated that enhanced trade between Pakistan and Nepal can prove to be extremely advantageous considering the low transport costs. Nepalese businessmen are comfortable in doing business with their Pakistani counterparts whereas Pakistan and Nepal have common national and international perspectives with wide scope and potential for boosting trade and commerce.
He informed that the volume of trade between Pakistan and Nepal has not reached to significant levels due to limited trade operations. However, in 2017, Pakistan’s export to Nepal increased gigantically by 225 percent to $11.72 million against exports of mere $3.60 million in 2016, as Pakistan exported $9 million worth of sugar. Pakistan’s imports from Nepal declined 9.6 percent during 2017 to $0.93 million as against the imports of $1.03 million in 2016.
“The trade volume is very low which requires collective efforts from both sides. In this regard, the Karachi Chamber is willing to cooperate and will be more than happy to send a business delegation to Nepal with a view to explore new avenues for enhancing trade”, he added.
Identifying some of the potential sectors, he mentioned that tea consumption was one of the highest in Pakistan whereas Nepal was the finest tea producers that can create trade opportunity between the two countries. “Similarly, Nepal is also 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 added.
He said 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.”
Direct air link between Nepal and Pakistan, increased exchange of business delegations and establishment of display centers in each other’s countries will boost the trade ties and enable both the countries to enjoy increased profits, he opined.