Nepal-Australia Business Forum and Nepal Tourism and Promotion Night 2018

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The inaugural Nepal-Australia Business Forum 2018 and the annual Nepal Business and Tourism Promotion Night 2018, organised by the Embassy of Nepal to Australia, in association with the Consulate General of Nepal to Victoria, were successfully held at Mantra Bell City, Melbourne on Saturday, 30 June 2018.

The all-day event from 9:00am to 11:00pm was divided into three sessions, with Session 1 being a media debriefing. Session 2 saw the Nepal-Australia Business Forum 2018 held from 12:00 noon, aimed at holding discussions to exploring bilateral trade and investment opportunities between Nepal and Australia. Session 3, held from 6:30pm, was the annual Nepal Business and Tourism Promotion Night 2018, a gala dinner aimed at promotion business and tourism to Nepal.

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Nepal-Australia Business Forum 2018

The Nepal-Australia Business Forum 2018, the first of its kind in Australia, was aimed at holding presentations and discussions to promote direct foreign investment in Nepal and identifying possible future Nepalese imports to Australia.

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Official proceedings commenced with the national anthems of Australia and Nepal, followed by the ceremonial lighting of the panas. Participating in the traditional ceremony included Victorian Minister for Finance and Multicultural Affairs, Hon. Robin Scott, Ambassador of Nepal to Australia, Her Excellency Lucky Sherpa, and Hon. Consul General of Nepal to Victoria, Chandra Yonzon (चन्द्र योन्जन).

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In her welcome address, HE Sherpa said that since Nepal’s transcendence into federalism, and now that all levels of government are in place, the time is optimal for foreign investment in Nepal. Addressing international investors, HE Sherpa encouraged seeking new dimensions and expanding bilateral relations between the people of the two countries.

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Chief Guest, Nepal Investment Board CEO, Maha Prasad Adhikari, Hon. Robin Scott, DFAT Director, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan Desk, Fiona Magro, former NRNA President and entrepreneur, Shesh Ghale, Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) International Coordination Council (ICC) President, Bhaban Bhatta, were among more than 100 Nepalese and Australian entrepreneurs and investors in attendance.

Mr Adhikari assured investors’ confidence saying that billions of dollars are required for Nepal’s development, which cannot be completed without foreign investment. In terms of tourism opportunities, significant change in Nepal is only possible through the implementation of foreign technology and work ethics.

Hon. Robin Scott said that Victoria’s Nepalese community increased by 117 percent over the period of five years from 2011 to 2016. He added that talks of bilateral investment between Nepal and Australia had begun at the right time, and expressed his willingness to work closely with the Government of Nepal for enhancing trade.

Ms Magro said that much work could be done to increase cooperation and investment between Nepal and Australia. She commended recent changes in Nepal, and stressed that order to make the private sector more attractive for foreign investments, there needs to be an increased focus on business-friendly laws in areas such as education and tourism.

Mr Bhatta, who traveled from Japan to attend the forum, extended his wishes for the increase of business prosperity between Nepal and Australia through the business forum. Similarly, Sheshe Ghale expressed that Nepal’s needs the skills, experiences and knowledge of the Nepalese diaspora at large in a presentation.

Presentations by Nepalese entrepreneurs gave insight into trade and investment opportunities, such as Ranju Wagle Thapa’s presentation taking into consideration Nepal’s current political, economic, socio-cultural situations, and Mangesh Lal Shrestha’s presentation entitled, ‘Envisioning Nepal for a Transformational Future‘.

Consul General Chandra Yonzon (चन्द्र योन्जन) expressed on behalf of the Embassy of Nepal and the Nepal consulate office, their continued willingness to help those interested in investing in Nepal. Referring to the present time as the best opportunity for investing in Nepal, he said that Nepal needs development in areas such as manufacturing, factories and services. Chandra Yonzon (चन्द्र योन्जन) thanked all in attendance for their valuable presence and participation at the forum.

Nepal Business and Tourism Promotion Night 2018

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The Nepal Business and Tourism Promotion Night 2018, a gala dinner is in its tenth year, was held with the aim of promoting business and tourism in Nepal. The evening saw displays of Nepalese artwork, speeches, presentations, cultural performances, a raffle and a three-course dinner with over 200 guests in attendance.

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The business and tourism promotion saw over 200 in attendance including Chief Guest, Victorian Legislative Council President, Hon. Bruce Atkinson, Victorian Shadow Minister for Investment and Jobs, Trade, Craig Ondarchie, Wills Federal MP, Peter Khalil, Consuls and Consuls-General, government officials and community leaders, international entrepreneurs and investors, travel agents and tour operators and state and local media.

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Official proceedings commenced with the national anthems of Australia and Nepal, followed by the ceremonial lighting of the panas. In her welcome address, HE Sherpa said that, “Nepal has become the third largest student-sending nations to Australia”, highlighting the already close cultural ties between the two countries. Listing the reasons why Australian investors should be interested in the quickly developing economy of Nepal, HE Sherpa noted that the areas of “tourism, infrastructure, connectivity, energy, hydropower, public services, agriculture and mining” are all potential investment opportunities ripe for Australian business involvement. She said that these industries, bolstered by the Government of Nepal’s recent moves, that have been given “a clear signal to the international community and investors around the globe that Nepal is back on the map”. HE Sherpa’s belief in the mutual benefit that would come to pass with this investment is clear to see, and signals a future of prosperity and closer ties between Nepal and Australia.

Hon. Atkinson said that the relationship between Nepal and Australia has been strong for many years, and that each year, he is delighted to attend the gala dinner aimed at inciting visitors to Nepal.

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Similarly, Craig Andrichi MLC and Peter Khalil MP, were very pleased to be involved in the program. Both said they will continue their work in continuing to promote business and tourism to Nepal. The program also saw in attendance Nepal Tourism Board Honorary Public Relations Representatives, as well as NTB Senior Manager, Laxman Gautam, and Senior Officer, Sudan Subedi, who gave an engaging and informative presentation on Investment Climate and Opportunities in Nepal.

The program included cultural performances with reflections of the Himalayan and Terai mountains expressed through traditional song and dance. The program saw presented Mithila paintings, paintings of Buddha and painting portrait of Chitrakar Gallery.

Following group photographs, official proceedings concluded with a raffle prize draw. Program participants were keen to become further acquainted with Nepalese hospitality, expressed their own desires to travel to Nepal, which will assist in Nepal’s economy.

The Embassy of Nepal to Australia and the Consulate General of Nepal to Victoria express their thanks to the following program sponsors: RGIT Australia, Melbourne Institute of Technology, Central Australian College, Buddha Travel & Tours, Vodafone, ATF Accountants, Kandel Consultancy, Grace International, Expert Education & Visa Services, TW GG Education, Metro Education, Buyers Choice, VDA Finance and Mutli Dynamic – Melbourne.