Tatiana v. Lechilina, deputy director of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, was recently in Kathmandu. Leading the Russian team in CACCI conference, she spoke to NEW SPOTLIGHT on various issues.
How do you see the possibility of Russian investment in Nepal?
There are immense possibilities to lure Russian investment in Nepal. Given Nepal’s position between two economic giants, Russians can invest in Nepal. One of the important things about Russia and Nepal is that they have had good relations at all times. Many Nepalese who get education from the Soviet Union are now constructing roads and running hospitals in Nepal. These Nepalese who can speak Russian are assets to lure Russian investment. Nepalese have also been helping Russia. Many Nepalese who live in Russia are now investing in Nepal. For instance, Upendra Mahato, Jiba Lamichane, both of them are playing important role in organizing non-residential Nepalis. They can play an important role in bringing Russian investment in Nepal.
It is a fact that Nepal and Russia always shared good relations at political level and Russia has no differences with Nepal on several international agenda. Nepal supports Russia.
In business sector, our relations are very good as leaders of business and trade are visiting each other’s country. Last year, a high level delegation of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry visited Russia and opened a road to expand trade relations between the two countries. The delegation also signed an MoU with our chamber and discussed with industrialists and investors in Russia. This business delegation came to Nepal to pay the return visit. Such exchange of visits will help to improve the bilateral trade as well as help to increase the investment in Nepal. During our meeting with the leaders of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we have discussed the way to disseminate the information regarding the areas of investment in Nepal. One of the aims of our visit is to get firsthand knowledge on investment opportunities for investment available in Nepal. As Russian business communities know very little about Nepal and we want to gather the information as much as possible from Nepal. They don’t know economic, political situation, export possibility, monetary policy and Nepal’s needs. For instance, what Nepal wants to import from Russia.
We are here not only to present ourselves but to get as much information about Nepal. I am sure that after our delegation returns to Russia our business groups will have adequate information to analyze the situation in Nepal. With the information, they will be able to decide the areas for investment in Nepal and areas for exporting Russian goods. I do hope that the visit will pave the way in enhancing the trade relations between the two countries.
In which areas are Russians interested to invest in Nepal?
Hydropower will be our first priority for investment because we have the technology as well as money to invest. Similarly, there is market for hydro power within Nepal and export. Agriculture will be another important sector for investment. We want to share our agro-technology with Nepal so that Nepal’s agriculture production grows. Tourism is another sector where Nepal can make a lot of gain. For this Nepal can campaign in Russia for tourism. Along with Russian climbers, there are lots of other Russian tourists who are interested to see cultural parts of Nepal. We can also help to construct the road. Russian can invest in the roads and cement factories.
How do you see the present level of trade?
It is very sad that Russia-Nepal trade is very low, despite the possibility to increase the trade. There is the need to increase the exchange of business mission and business delegation. Participation in fair and exhibition will also contribute to enhance our mutual friendship.