Uncertain politics continues to steal news headlines and keep foreign investors at bay. Yet, a delegation of the American Chamber of Commerce in India has sounded a positive note in the midst of worries about the growing industrial unrest and worsening economy.
A delegation from the American Chamber of Commerce in India completed a three-day visit recently. The trade mission, the first by a U.S. business organization in 13 years, explored investment and trade opportunities in Nepal.
A US Embassy press release said, “This important visit demonstrated the renewed American interest in Nepal’s economy. Building on the recently-signed U.S-Nepal Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), the Embassy hopes to expand the economic ties between the United States and Nepal.”
Nine U.S. companies took part in the delegation, including Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Rockwell Automation, Monsanto, and Bell Helicopter. The delegates met with the Prime Minister, senior government officials, political leaders, private sector companies, and U.S. Embassy officials.
Addressing a press conference, the business leaders said that they would study to see which areas would offer them advantage.
“Time has come to stop looking at Nepal from the lens of conflict and start looking beyond political issues and start rebuilding; time has come to change,” said American ambassador to Nepal scott H. DeLisi at the press meet.
To explore the various business propositions, Aniruddha Lahari, the vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce in India, and his team recently visited Nepal.
Lahari said, “I and my team members have been able to facilitate the chance of exploring Nepal, Nepal is not a land free of challenges and obstacles, but the business propositions, viable and strong ones, can succeed here.”
Lahari and his team met prime minister Jhalanath Khanal, cabinet ministers , political leaders, senior bureaucrats and local investors.“ We received positive vibes from all the people we met and that has led to a sense of satisfaction,” Lahari said.
There are diverse business opportunities for foreign investors in Nepal. The naturally blessed land has various unexploited areas which can be attractive to any foreign investor. Sectors like hydropower, transportation, IT, and tourism offer big opportunities and are preferable investment sectors, said Lahari. Besides, the government is already in talks with American Embassy on the possibility of American investments in various sectors.
When asked about the scope of foreign investments, Lahari answered, “The initial investments will be primarily focused to tap the domestic market but in the course of time the markets in India and China can also be capitalized.”