Nepal has failed to tap Russian investors, according to former president of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Upendra Mahato.
Nepal can benefit more as Russian investors could bring in huge investments, he said, addressing Russian and Nepali business people in Kathmandu today.
"Russians have no political interest, except for the security of their investments and profits, which any investor seeks," said Mahato, adding that the government's assurance of investment security can attract Russian investment in the country.
If Nepal can propose big projects, they will be interested to invest in Nepal, he opined. "Though there have been talks with Russian investors for long, they want more concrete projects to invest in."
Addressing the visiting Russian business delegation led by deputy director of the International Cooperation Department of the Russian Federation's Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tatiana V Legchilina, industry minister Anil Jha assured them of security to their investment. "Despite political instability, investment is a primary concern that is key to peace and prosperity," he said, assuring the business fraternity of investment facilitation.
Similarly, vice president of Nepal-Russia Chambers of Commerce Naresh Shrestha said that Nepal still provides scope for investment though there are challenges. "After Russian airlines, Aeroflot, stopped its flights to Kathmandu, the flow of Russian tourists has slowed down," he said, urging it to start flights again.
Russian ambassador to Nepal Sergey V Velichkin was of the view that Russian investment in India and China has been increasing and Nepal — that is placed between the two big markets — should also take advantage and attract more Russian investment.
"International trade is all about shaping destinies of the world," he said, adding that trade must be attached with value and moral. "Nepal and Russia both believe in trade with value, but the understanding of the opportunities that Russia can offer is very poor in Nepal despite many commonalities."
Nepal-Russia bilateral trade
Fiscal Year — Exports — Imports
2005-06 — Rs 58.43 million — Rs 900.52 million
2006-07 — Rs 40.86 million — Rs 812.29 million
2007-08 — Rs 27.26 million — Rs 1131.56 million
2008-09 — Rs 55.16 million — Rs 1086.92 million
2009-10 — Rs 33.87 million — Rs 436.03 million
2010-11 — Rs 117.11 million — Rs 647.36 million
(Source: Trade and Export Promotion Centre)