Non-resident ambassador of the UAE to Nepal Mohamed Sultan Abdalla Al Owais, speaking at a programme here today, said that Nepal offers a lot of opportunity to investors.
"In the last four years of my tenure in New Delhi, UAE has doubled its trade volume with India," he said, adding that the UAE wants to replicate the same in Nepal too.
The New Delhi-based envoy said that a team of UAE businessmen will visit Nepal soon to explore business opportunities.
Though UAE is largely known as one of the key destinations for migrant workers, the trade volume between the two countries has also been increasing in recent years.
Nepal had exported merchandise worth Rs 326.300 million to UAE in fiscal year 2010-11, according to figures of the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC).
UAE — the 29th largest trading partner of Nepal — had exported merchandise worth Rs 13.61 billion to Nepal in the fiscal year, the data revealed, adding that Nepal's trade deficit with UAE stood at Rs 13.28 billion in fiscal year 2010-11.
Likewise, Nepal's exports to UAE in 2012 stood at Rs 322.99 million, whereas it imported merchandise worth Rs 37.66 billion, according to the TEPC data. "On the basis of export volume, UAE is the 19th export destination of the country."
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the largest supplier of gold to Nepal.
Nepal imported some 87.6 per cent of gold from the UAE in fiscal year 2010-11, the TEPC data revealed, adding that the country had imported gold worth Rs 9.95 billion from the UAE, out of the total gold imports of Rs 11.35 billion.
Likewise, in fiscal year 2009-10, the country had imported 68.4 per cent — Rs 28.5 billion out of the total import of Rs 40 billion — gold from the UAE.
Besides gold, major imports from UAE include edible oil, beverage, fuel oil, petroleum bitumen, and polyethylene, whereas Nepal exports large cardamom, woollen shawls, scarves, and mufflers, among others to the UAE.
"There is a need to enhance trade relations in the interest of both the countries," the envoy said.
Nepal and the UAE entered into diplomatic relations in January 1977.
Likewise, the then Royal Nepal Airlines started its flight to Dubai in 1985 in transit to its European destinations. Currently, Etihad Airlines, RAK Airways, and Fly Dubai are some of the airlines of UAE catering to the needs of travellers, mostly migrant Nepalis to and from UAE, which is also one of the key sources of remittance inflow to the country.
Double Bar Graph
Nepal's trade with UAE
Year — Export — Import
2009 — Rs 498.81 million — Rs 23,622.32 million
2010 — Rs 170.82 million — Rs 14,170.58 million
2011 — Rs 444.14 million — Rs 24,526.82 million
2012 — Rs 322.99 million — Rs 37,664.00 million(Source: Trade and Export Promotion Centre)