His Majesty's China visit very fruitful for
strengthening bilateral ties
The leader and members of the business delegation accompanying the royal entourage on the state visit of their Majesties the King and Queen to the People's Republic of China from February 26 to March 4 have found the visit very fruitful for strengthening bilateral ties.
Leader of the 15 members business delegation and president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Pradeep Kumar Shrestha described the visit as historic for Nepalese Industry and Commerce.
He said while the business focus of the visit was on agriculture and tourism, the first leg of the visit to Haikou in Hainan province, which has China's largest special economic zone, opened up possibilities of knowledge about how to set up such zones in Nepal.
Participation in the Boao Forum for Asia, where world and regional leaders including His Majesty the King spoke, provided insight into economic strategies for survival, a collective approach and Asian views on the global concept. This was useful especially for a LDC like Nepal.
Meetings held in Beijing with the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) at both institutional and business to business level revealed the interests of the business community in China, he said.
Following a visit to the glorious agricultural farm there they also showed interest in developing a model farm in Nepal and a letter of internt was signed in this connection, he said. Investors in construction, herbal and pharmaceutical industries also showed interest in Nepal.
After the CCPIT meeting a separate meeting on tourism was held and it was a useful encounter.
During a meeting with the All China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), the latter said it would work to facilitate and follow up on all MOU's signed in the past with the FNCCI. The meeting focused on garments and other exportable items.
In talks in Shanghai with the Shanghai International Chamber of Commerce, the focus was on the I.T. sector, pharmaceuticals and construction. The Nepalese delegation was also able to inform them about the mining sector in Nepal, in particular magnesite and cement. Tourism also figured. The China desk at the FNCCI is to look at the business contacts made during the visit.
The delegation felt honored that Chinese President Jiang Zemin referred to the inclusion of the business delegation in the state visit. This mention by the president himself led to great interest among Chinese business counterparts.
Inclusion of the business delegation indicated to the Chinese that Nepal is serious about economic development, he said.
FNCCI and the MEDEF International sign cooperation agreement
A six member Nepalese Business delegation led by Pradeep Kumar Shrestha, President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerced Industry (FNCCI) accompanied by the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on the three day official visit to the Republic of France from March 5-7, 2001, was found productive in terms of Business and Commerce.
During the visit a meeting with MEDEF International (Mouvement de Enterprises de France French Business Confederation was organised Prime Minister Koirala addressed the MEDEF Meeting.
The Nepalese Business delegation also visited Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry and had fruitful discussion on subjects of mutual interest. The delegation also had meeting with officials of EXIM Bank and Insurance companies of France.
The Visit is expected to boast by lateral trade, investment and econonic ties as well as tourism.
During the visit the Federationof Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Mouvement Des Enterprises De France (MEDEF) French Business Confederation signed a cooperation agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala in Paris on 8 March 2001.
The agreement was signed by FNCCI president Pradeep Kumar Shrestha and MEDEF president M. Francois Xavier.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Koirala said the signing of the agreement has opened up new vistas for trade relations between Nepal and France and for better inteaction between the business communities of the two countries.
Stating that the government has made arrangements for attracting foreign investment to the country, he urged French investors to benefit from such arrangements.
On the occasion, Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat and Foreign Minister. Chakra Prasad Bastola responded to queries from various French businessmen, who sought information about existing infrastructures and policies on water resources, communications, tourism, agro-business and investment in Nepal.
FNCCI president Pradeep Kumar Shrestha and MEDEF president M. Francois Xavier expressed the belief that the agreement will help promote Nepal-France trade relations.
FNCCI sets up National Excellence Award
The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has set up National Excellence Award with a view to promote awareness of performance excellence for sustainable growth and development of an institution.
The Award would be given annually to the best performer in each of the three categories large, medium and small scale organisations.
Besides recognising business excellence, the award also aims at promoting information sharing of policies strategies and benefits of the successful institutions.
The award is based on a comprehensive model focussing on the organisation's practices and performances under nine different criteria. They include institutional policy, planning and commitment, future plan organisational structure and work plan, operational information dissemination and utilisation, employees development work system and standardisation, customer satisfaction and relationship employee satisfaction and performance results.
The award was not product or service specific and would recognise excellence in product/delivery standards through effecive and well defined work systems.
There would be four levels recognition: award prizes commendations for significant achievement and commendations for commitment to total quality management. The award winner would receive a trophy symbolising total quality management.
Nepal Business Expo 2001
The Federation to be held of the Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), is hosting 'Nepal Business Expo 2001 at the Bhrikuti Mandap from April 10-14. The Expo is dubbed as the first institutionalised business fair of the Nepalese business and commerce sector.
The Expo will have more than 350 stalls of all organisations and associations under the FNCCI with their activities, products and imported goods.
The business fair will also have Engineering Expo of the Engineers' Association and Agriculture Expo of the Agriculture Business Centre.
The extensive participation of the private sector will be an added feature of the Business Expo.
The Expo, to be coordinated jointly by Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Lalitpur Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Bhaktapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be participated by Nepal Engineer's Association and Agriculture Enterprise Centre. The Expo will be the co-hosted and managed by Everest Exhibitions, which is incorporating its annual Trade Fair-2001 within the Expo.
An organising committee has also been formed under FNCCI's Third Vice President Binod Bahadur Shrestha as coordinator.
Syaprubesi-Rasuwa road to be expedited.
The Chinese government has agreed to expedite the process of building the Syaprubesi-Rasuwa road.
The Chinese side said this at the third meeting of the consultation mechanism between foreign ministries of Nepal and the People's Republic of China held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on February 5th and 6th.
At the request of the Nepalese side to accord the fifth freedom right from Shanghai to Osaka and the multiple designation of the Nepalese airlines on the Kathmandu-Lhasa route, the Chinese side stated that it would look into the matter and for this purpose the civil aviation authorities of the two sides could hold discussions.
During the meeting the Chinese side informed of its government's decision to extend consular jurisdiction of the royal Nepalese Consulate General in Hong Kong to Macao also. The Nepalese side welcomed the decision as it would facilitate the promotion of trade relations between Nepal and the Macao special administrative region of the people's Republic of China and help Nepalese living in Macao to receive consular services from the Royal Nepalese Consulate General in Hong Kong.
Tourist inflow rises
Tourist inflow in Nepal via air, which had nose dived by almost 11 percent in 2000, has received a boost with the arrivals shooting up by 32 percent in the first month of 2001, as compared to January 2000.
According to the Nepal Tourism Board and TIA Immigration Department the number of arrivals in January 2001 shot up to almost 26 thousand, up from the first month of the previous year's 19 thousand five hundred.
However, the growth is negligible as compared to the first month of 1999, when a little over 25 thousand tourists had visited the country.
Tourist arrival via air, which comprises over 85 percent of the total tourist inflow into the country, had dived in 2000, caused mainly by the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 that took off from Tribhuban International Airport on Christmas eve in 1999.
India Airlines had suspended flights to the Kathmandu sector for the next five months causing a drastic piunge in the Indian tourist inflow. The flights were resumed from June 1. The number of Indian tourists in the first month of 2001 increased by 25 percent. Indians comprise a third of total tourists visiting Nepal.
Similarly, arrival witnessed a increase in Swiss tourists by 62 percent, Austrians by 77, Swedish by 78, Japanese by 44, Chinese by 66, Americans by 13, Australians by 17 percent and French by 35 percent.
Similarly, tourist inflow from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Spain declined by 11,17 and 1.13 percent respectively.
Handicraft exports declined.
Handicraft exports, excluding pashmina, which had always grown in the past years, has declined considerably.
Handicraft exports, excluding pashmina, in the first four months of the current fiscal year dipped over 36 percent as compared to the figure of the corresponding period last year.
While exports in the first four months last fiscal year stood at Rs. 747.9 million, the exports dropped to Rs. 472 million this year.
Entrepreneurs say that the export figure for the first four months will have an important bearing upon the overall annual performance. It is because the peak season for handicraft demand abroad is before Christmas New Year.
However, the total handicraft exports, including pashmina shows a good growth, Total exports in the first four months of the current fiscal year stood at Rs. 4.15 billion, up from Rs. 2.28 billion in the corresponding period last year. Similarly, export figures in the same period the pervious year stood at Rs. 438.6 million.
NDBL, IDBI sign for mutual benefit
The Nepal Development Bank Limited (NDBL), one of the newest private commercial banks of Nepal, has entered an agreement with the Industrial Development Bank Ltd. of India (IDBI).
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two banks was signed on January 25, 2001. The MoU was signed by Uttam Pun. Executive Chairman of NDBL, and S.K. Chakrabarti, Deputy Managing Director of the IDBI.
Under the agreement under which the IDBI holds a 10 percent stake on the financial and technical collaboration and equal participation of the NDBL.
Due to the participation of IDBI in the shares of NDBL, one of the representatives of IDBI would be appointed in the management of the NDBL, IDBI also will provide help in technical assistance giving institutional recommendation, merchant banking, financial management and others including service and trainings to NDBL.
Development Credit Bank Opens
Development Credit Bank (DCB) has started its banking transactions from February. Accordant the bank sources, DCB- the second development bank in the private sector has been established with the authorised capital of Rs. 320 million and the paid-up capital of Rs. 160 million. Established under the Development Bank Act-2052, individual promoters have 51 percent share, and corporate shareholders 19 percent, and the remaining 30 percent share belong to the general public.
With the objective of promoting industry, agriculture and services the bank aims to provide other services like consutancy, investment of capital and various technical assistance depending upon the nature of an organisation. The bank will collect deposit for the period of three months and provide merchant banking services with the permission of Nepal Rastra Bank, it is learnt.
Neco Insurance announces 10% divided
The fifth annual general meeting of NECO Insurance Limited concluded in Kathmandu recently.
Presenting the annual report (2056-57 BS), chairman of the company Punya Prasad Dahal informed that the company had been successful in making transactions of Rs. 140.98 million out of which Rs. 97.83 million was the net profit.
Out of this profit, the company has mode decision to issue 10 percent dividend. According to the report the company, till the end of 2056/57 BS has made an investment of Rs. 85.25 million.
The company has already collected Rs. 110 Million as insurance premium in the running fiscal year.
According to official sources, the company had started non-life insurance in 2053.
NECO Insurance is the first insurance company in the country to introduce new insurance policy on travel, medical insurance, hospital cash plan insurance, domestic/expatriate and insurance Search and rescue. It is learnt that the company is going to introduce new insurance schemes so as to prop up insurance business in the country.
Everest Bank profits up
Everest Bank Ltd. In the first six months of the current fiscal year, earned profits 118 percent higher than that earned in the corresponding period last year.
The bank earned Rs. 82 million in profits within mid January 2001, while last year's profits for the first six months stood at Rs. 38.8 million.
The deposits and lending have increased by 73 percent and 77 percent respectively. The bank will also start its operations in Dhangadi in the near future.