| January 19, 2019

Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum to begin on Friday

KATHMANDU, Jan 19: A two-day business forum is being organized in Kathmandu January 22 and 23 to promote trade and investment between Nepal and Bangladesh.

Ministers, senior government officials, and business leaders of both the countries will participate in the event.

Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) -- a Nepal-based think tank -- is hosting the forum with the cooperation of the Embassy of Bangladesh in Kathmandu to attract investments.

“Since the promulgation of the new constitution, Nepalis are suffering from various problems and our economy is totally affected. We felt Nepal has to engage with its neighboring country Bangladesh for import and export and for attracting foreign direct investment in hydropower projects and hospitality sector,” Sunil KC, founder of AIDIA, said.

Nepal is also in reconstruction phase after the devastating earthquake that ravaged the country in April last year. “This is the right time for Nepal to make Bangladesh a second major trading partner after India,” he added.

Several of Nepal's incumbent and former ministers, including the Minister for Commerce, will attend the forum along with the country's business leaders. Bangladesh's commerce secretary and chamber leaders, including the president of the apex business body FBCCI, are also expected to join the forum.

Officials of AIDIA said that their plan is to make the forum an annual event to promote bilateral trade, business and investment.

Nepal and Bangladesh enjoy close diplomatic relations. Nepal is also a tourist destination for Bangladeshis. But bilateral trade has not grown much.

Last year, trade between the two countries was worth about $38 million. The new Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal motor vehicle agreement is expected to open a new era of doing business.

Nepal is looking for investments for generating employment. “As Bangladesh is becoming a logistic hub in Asia due its own business characteristics, Nepal can benefit from it because of its geographical proximity,” KC said, adding that it is the first such bilateral business forum to take place in
Kathmandu to promote trade between any two countries. "This forum will create more business opportunities."

There will be 'business to business' and 'business to government' meetings apart from several sessions at the forum.

Bangladesh Expo from Jan 21
Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh in Nepal is organizing Bangladesh Expo 2016 in Kathmandu from January 21 to January 25.

Eventales Ltd, Bangladesh and Synthesis Exhibition and Events Pvt Ltd, Nepal is helping the Bangladesh Embassy to organize the expo.

Participating companies from Bangladesh will products in different categories like building constructional materials, readymade garments, plastic products, cosmetics, ceramics, jute and jute Products, leather products, textiles, pharmaceuticals, footwear, electronics, handicrafts, agro machineries, processed food, IT solutions, consumer products, and tourism services etc.

Similarly, Nepali exhibitors will showcase their products with a view to find importers from Bangladesh.

The expo is expected to create a platform for exchange of technology, new opportunities for investment in hydropower for sustainable energy, and investment in tourism and hospitality, according to the organizers.