Economy

Nepal eyes Qatari investments in energy, tourism

Peter Alagos

Nepal-Qatar

Nepal is currently conducting an investment programme to study the feasibility of developing projects in the sectors of hydropower and tourism. This aims to infuse Qatari investments in these projects, said ambassador Ramesh Prasad Koirala.

“India and China are large markets and Nepal is situated between these two countries, presenting a lot of opportunities, especially in the tourism sector,” Koirala told Gulf Times on the sidelines of Nepal’s National Day celebrations held yesterday in Doha.

According to Koirala, Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport “are also interested” in developing tourism-related projects with the government of Nepal in the future. To further develop and enhance bilateral, trade and economic relations with Qatar, the ambassador said Nepal is expected to send high-level delegations to the country within the year.

“High-level dignitaries will be visiting Qatar soon to hold talks to deepen ties between the two countries. The focus of the discussions would be how to develop mutual co-operation and benefits,” Koirala pointed out.

The investment programme in Nepal also aims to bring business delegations that would visit both countries and explore the opportunities to develop projects in specific sectors, not only in clean energy and tourism, but also in areas such as agriculture, which could help address Qatar’s food security initiatives, Koirala stressed.

Citing Nepal’s “very good climate,” Koirala said Nepal is looking to export “a wide variety” of organic farm produce to Qatar. Next month, the ambassador said a Nepalese trade delegation will visit Qatar to meet with their Qatari counterparts and to showcase products from Nepal.

“We plan to bring in economic experts from Nepal to highlight the investment opportunities in Nepal. In the area of hydropower, this is one of the cleanest forms of energy. I think we are the second largest country in the world after Brazil to develop hydropower,” the ambassador said. Koirala also reiterated Nepal’s plans to export mineral water to Qatar, among other destinations worldwide.

He said after the rainy season in Nepal, investors from Qatar will visit the country to inspect and collect water samples from natural sources by the end of October.

“The Himalayas is a mountainous area that is replete with sources of pure water. Right now, experts in Nepal are testing the water’s natural mineral content because it must comply with GCC standards.

Once all these have been finalised, then we could expect export to start,” he said, adding that Nepal is also looking supply mineral water to its local market and to export to countries like India and other international markets.

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