Nepal-Indonesia Business Forum Fosters Bilateral Ties

KATHMANDU, Oct 8: The Embassy of Indonesia for Bangladesh and Nepal, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), and the Honorary Consulate of Indonesia in Kathmandu collaborated to host a 'Business Forum' in the capital city on Thursday. The primary aim was to boost bilateral investment, trade, and tourism ties between the two nations.

During the event, Ambassador Heru H. Subolo, Indonesia's envoy to Bangladesh and Nepal, emphasized the importance of enhancing both business and people-to-people interactions between the countries. He pointed out the untapped potential for bilateral business cooperation and urged governments and business communities to explore these opportunities.

Chandra Prasad Dhakal, President of FNCCI and Honorary Consul of Indonesia in Nepal, echoed the call for promoting tourism and trade between the nations. He encouraged Indonesian investors to consider Nepal as a destination for investment, highlighting areas of comparative advantage.

Dhakal also highlighted the potential benefits of a direct flight between Jakarta and Kathmandu, which could facilitate trade, tourism, and closer people-to-people ties.

Moreover, he called for the Indonesian government's support in prioritizing Nepali goods in the Indonesian market, aiming to boost trade relations further.

The annual business forum aims to strengthen relations between Indonesia and Nepal. Indonesia, with its vast population of 270 million, ranks as the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a newly industrialized nation. It holds the 16th position in the world's largest economies, with a GDP of US$ 1.3 trillion in terms of purchasing power.

However, bilateral trade between Nepal and Indonesia remains modest, standing at just US$ 20.6 million. Ambassador Subolo expressed Indonesia's hope that Nepal could make better use of the Indonesian market.

Nepal mainly exports carpets, tea, and jute products to Indonesia while importing palm oil, mineral fuels, wood, and paper from the country.

Ambassador Subolo also informed attendees about the Trade Expo Indonesia scheduled for October 18-22 this year, which will take place near Jakarta. The expo will focus on Business-to-Business trade and promote tourism and investment exhibitions for Indonesian export-oriented products and services.

Additionally, Ambassador Subolo and Dhakal discussed mutual interests in collaboration, business enhancement, and people-to-people relations. Dhakal requested the ambassador's support in reinstating on-arrival visas for Nepali travellers visiting Indonesia, which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2019.

In response, Ambassador Subolo pledged to engage with the Indonesian government to explore the possibility of reinstating on-arrival visas for Nepali travellers. He also expressed his intent to support Nepal and Nepali businesses in exporting their goods to Indonesia.

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