Tuesday, October 31, 2017

FNCCI, Austrian Chamber sign agreement

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber today signed an eight-point bilateral agreement to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries.
The agreement signing ceremony between FNCCI president Bhawani Rana and vice president of Austrian Federal Economic Chamber Richard Schenz – on behalf of their respective organisations – was also witnessed by industry minister Sunil Bahadur Thapa.
The agreement stresses the expansion of collaboration between the two countries in the sectors as bilateral trade, commerce and technology, apart from moving ahead by facilitating the extension of mutual interests and cooperation, and the exchange visits of business delegations to both countries. Both the sides also agreed to review the agreement inked between the FNCCI and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in 1993.
Addressing on the occasion, minister Thapa highlighted the need for exchanging knowledge, skills and technology between the two countries.
Austria has been providing financial and technical support to various sectors in Nepal. The key areas of development cooperation involve hydroelectricity, infrastructure development, conservation of ancient temples, drinking water supply and eco-tourism development.
Likewise, National Planning Commission (NPC) member Dr CK Poudel and industry secretary Yam Kumari Khatiwada urged the visiting Austrian team to consider investment in agriculture, energy and service sector in Nepal as the country offers favourable environment for investment. Nepal has simplified the procedure for transferring profits for foreign companies besides implementing online company registration and promoting an industrial village, Khatiwada said, adding that the country has also declared tourism and infrastructure development as priority areas to facilitate foreign direct investment in these sectors.
Austrian ambassador to Nepal Brigitte Oppinger-Walchshofer, on the occasion, shared that the Austrian entrepreneurs were encouraged to invest in Nepal.
Namche Small Hydroelectric Project, Patan Museum, Garden of Dreams at Keshar Mahal, Kathmandu and Rolwaling eco-tourism are some of the projects that have been completed under Austrian cooperation.
Nepal’s trade with Austria has also been increasing in recent years. According to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, the value of the commerce between the two countries swelled to Rs645.47 million in 2016 from Rs364.15 million in 2012.
Last year, Nepal exported goods worth Rs243.15 million while imports from Austria amounted to Rs402.32 million.
Major exports to Austria include paper and paper products, woollen carpets, handicrafts, readymade garments, silverware and jewellery. Likewise, Nepal’s key imports from Austria in terms of value are machinery and parts and communications equipment.
FNCCI president Bhawani Rana, after signing the agreement, said that a favourable environment has been created in Nepal due to the political stability and second generation policy reforms.
Similarly, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber president Richard Schenz shared that the Austrian entrepreneurs are willing to invest in Nepal and pledged to attract more Austrian investment in Nepal.
The representatives of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Austrian entrepreneurs are currently on a visit to Nepal in course of exploring investment opportunities.

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