KARACHI - Nepal’s Ambassador Sewa Lamsal Adhikari has invited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to participate in the forthcoming Nepal Investment Summit scheduled to be organised in Katmandu on March 2-3, 2017.

Exchanging views with KCCI office bearers during her visit to the KCCI, the Nepalese ambassador said that the investment summit was being organised to promote Nepal as the investment destination for the next decade which will showcase investment opportunities especially to large scale investors who were keen to explore opportunities in new destinations. The Nepalese envoy urged the Pakistani business and industrial community to invest in different sectors of Nepalese economy, particularly the hydropower sector which has the potential to offer lucrative opportunities whereas major facilities are accorded to the investors in Nepal.

She was of the view that although the trade volume between Pakistan and Nepal was currently not at a satisfactory level but the situation can be improved as the two countries have tremendous potential in the areas of trade, tourism, investment and cultural promotion.

Adhikari stressed the need to exchange business delegations for enhancing trade and promotion of investment opportunities between Pakistan and Nepal. She opined that agriculture and tourism were the main areas where both countries can collaborate but the logistics issues, lack of communication and proper marketing were some hurdles in the expansion of trade. She was fairly optimistic that 2017 is going to be a remarkable year to enhance bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Nepal.

Earlier, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo, while welcoming the Nepalese ambassador, said that the volume of trade between Pakistan and Nepal has not reached to significant levels due to limited trade operations. However, in FY16, Pakistan’s export to Nepal increased gigantically to $108 million as against exports of a mere $2.73 million in the corresponding period of last year. A sharp surge was witnessed in the exports of textiles, cements and food items to Nepal, he added.

He further informed that Pakistan’s import from Nepal during FY16 declined 78 percent to $0.13 million as against imports of $0.59 million in the same period last year, whereas the trade balance has usually remained in favour of Pakistan.

Touching upon some of the potential areas for enhancing trade, the KCCI president said that as tea consumption was one of the highest in Pakistan whereas Nepal was one of the finest tea producers, this creates a good trade opportunity between the two countries. Similarly, in recent past, Nepal has emerged as 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 said agriculture has special potential for expansion of bilateral trade.

Pakistan and Nepal can explore products of comparative advantage favoured by specific climatic zones in both countries, he added.