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Nepal‚ Malaysia plan to increase bilateral trade

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: Malaysian companies are signing atleast four memorandums of understanding to increase bilateral trade.

“We hope to sign at least four memorandums of understanding in education, retail chain outlet, food and in construction sector during the visit,” said Malaysia Nepal Business Council (MNBC) president Datuk Pardip Kumar Kukreja here today.

“Nepal has enormous

opportunities for Malaysian companies, and our bilateral trade is growing by nearly 150 per cent annually,” he added.

A team of 60-member Malaysian trade delegation are here to identify possible products in Nepal and explore investment opportunities. SME Corporation Malaysia and Malaysia Nepal Business Council have jointly organised the fourth edition of the trade visit to Nepal that aims to encourage trade relation between both two countries.

Kukreja also said that the Nepali business community is seeing Malaysia as a supplier of valued products, beyond China and India.

According to the organisers the annual business dialogue started today and will be concluded on Tuesday. A diverse-mix of Malaysian entrepreneurs ranging from food, housing developers, investment agencies to manufacturing, will hold high-level talks with their Nepali counterparts during the trip.

Currently about 400,000 Nepali migrant workers are employed in Malaysia that has recognised Nepal as a source country for foreign workers since the beginning of 2001.

The decision on the part of the Malaysian government has become a major factor for the consolidation and diversification of bilateral relationships in the recent years.

Nepal and Malaysia established diplomatic relations in 1960. Malaysia is one of the major trading partners of Nepal. Direct air connection between the two capitals, which started from March 2003 has facilitated to bring our people even closer. Over 80 different varieties of merchandise ranging from palm oil products, processed food to rubber products to motor vehicles, their parts and industrial goods are imported into Nepal from Malaysia. There has been a surge in the import trade from Malaysia in the recent years.

Nepal’s export to Malaysia is low compared to other countries but it shows some prospect of growth. Possible products for further exploration can be hides and skin, pharmaceutical products including Himalayan herbs and herbal products, handicrafts, garments, jewellery, precious and semi-precious stones, pashmina shawls, organic tea and coffee, and Yarsa Gumba.

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