The inaugural Nepal-Australia Business Forum 2018 and the annual Nepal Business and Tourism Promotion Night 2018, organized 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 9:00 am to 11:00 pm 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consul General Yonzon 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. Mr Yonzon thanked all in attendance for their valuable presence and participation at the forum.
Nepal Business and Tourism Promotion Night 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meanwhile the delegation from Nepal Tourism Board promoted Nature, Culture, Wildlife and Adventure activities of Nepal in Australia. In addition to Mt. Everest, Lumbini, Himalayas and adventure, NTB also portrayed Nepal as the center of peace and harmony, spirituality, yoga and meditation. Cultural Heritage of Nepal, both tangible and intangible, also featured prominently in the show. The Sales Mission highlighted the most conducive environment in Nepal for travel and Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign with comprehensive information about Australia-Nepal air connectivity, visa regulations and all sorts of facilities available in Nepal for Australian tourists.
Mr. Laxman Gautam, Senior Manager of NTB made exclusive and detailed presentations on various facets of tourism in Nepal to whole seller travel agents in all the three cities. Major whole seller travel agents and media based in the above mentioned cities of Australia showed up in the programs and expressed deep interests in Nepal. Honorary Consulate of Victoria Mr. Chandra Yonzan welcomed participants in Melbourne, while Honorary Consulate of New South Wales Mr. Deepak Khadka and Honorary Public Relations Representative of NTB for Queensland Mr. Swotantra Pratap Shah made welcome remarks in Sydney and Brisbane programs respectively.
NTB delegation also made a presentation to Australian business personalities, US Consulate based in Victoria-Australia, some Members of Parliament of the State of Victoria in Melbourne on 31st of July in the dinner session of investment forum organized jointly by Nepal Embassy in Australia and Nepal’s Consulate Office in Victoria. In addition, an exclusive travel media conference was held in Sydney in the presence of leading media persons working in travel trade sector of Australia.
The Sales Mission attracted more than 130 tour operators and 20 media representatives in the three cities. NTB also awarded ‘six night seven days” Nepal trip to winners of lucky draw conducted in each city.
NTB has identified Australia as a country with huge potential for market expansion. 33,371 Australian visitors visited Nepal in the year 2017 and the market is expanding in a good pace.
Hotel Barahi, Hotel Manang and Hotel Glacier from Nepal were on board in the Sales Mission along with Nepal Tourism Board.
INFORMATION SOURCE: NEPALESE CONSULATE OF VICTORIA