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Nepal-Qatar bilateral talks: PM Dahal urges Qatar to increase investment in Nepal

2024 Apr 24, 17:44,

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has said that there should be an exchange of bilateral assistance between Nepal and Qatar in the best interests of both nations by further consolidating the bilateral ties.

During a bilateral talks held between the Amir (monarch) of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, who arrived here on Tuesday on the two-day state visit, the Prime Minister apprised the distinguished guest from Qatar that Nepal offers ample and appropriate opportunities for investment in agriculture, tourism, and infrastructure sectors.

Stating that Nepali migrant workers in Qatar have served as a tool to further strengthen the friendly relations between Nepal and Qatar, the Prime Minister spoke of the need to deepen such ties in the days to come.

He utilised the meeting to call on Qatar to facilitate the safe release of Nepali student Bipin Joshi who has been missing since the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Stating Nepal and Qatar always enjoy a cordial relationship, the Prime Minister said this relationship is founded on cordial friendship, mutual respect, trust, and assistance. "Qatar remains as a reliable friend of Nepal and such relations are getting deeper and extended. These relations are not limited to just an official level and but have been expanded to the people-to-people level as well."

He expressed his hope that a high-level visit between the two countries will contribute to further strengthening ties, taking them to a new height.

Describing Nepal as 'one the attractive destinations for investment for the globe', the Prime Minister said agriculture, energy, hydropower, infrastructure development, tourism, information and communications technology, service and hospitality sectors are suitable areas for foreign investment in Nepal.

Stating that Nepal was a suitable place for producing organic agricultural products due to its geographical diversity, PM Dahal said that the Qatari investors would be encouraged to consider investment in this sector since Nepal was an centre of attraction in tourism in the world parlance, the PM asserted that the foreign investment made in tourism infrastructures would not go in vain.

He viewed that the ascent of the highest mountain in the world-Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) by first Qatari man , Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al-Thani in 2013, had contributed in promotion of Nepal's tourism in the world.

On the occasion, PM Dahal requested to include Nepal in the list of Qatar's Tourism Authority's external tourism destination.

Proposal for flight to Qatar from Lumbini and Pokhara

PM Dahal urged the Qatari government for operation of flights from Lumbini and Pokhara to Qatar as well. The PM placed the request during the bilateral discussions.

Stating that there were effective and sufficient air transportation between Kathmandu to Doha, PM Dahal urged the Qatari government to consider operating flights from Lumbini and Pokhara to Doha as well.

Stating that many agreements and MoU were signed between Nepal and Qatar, PM Dahal viewed that the agreements and MoU between the two countries should be amended and updated with the demand of time.

Migrant labour and bilateral relations

PM Dahal observed that around 400,000 Nepalis migrant workers working in Qatar at present were an important bridge further cementing the bilateral ties between Nepal and Qatar.

Sharing that the government of Nepal was going to establish vocational training and skill development centre for aspiring Nepali migrant workers to Qatar, he urged the Qatari government for its assistance in setting up such centre.

Nepal's priority is economic development

Prime Minister Dahal asserted that economic development is Nepal's priority and it expected continued support from the friendly countries and the development partners for fulfilling its development aspirations, including the graduation from least developed country status in 2026, stating economic development was Nepal's priority.

He expressed the confidence that the Government of Qatar will provide assistance to Nepal in the development of big infrastructure projects as international standard cricket and football stadiums, hydropower production and construction of hospitals and health facilities.

Request to take initiative for Bipin Joshi's release

Likewise, Prime Minister Dahal has urged Qatar to take initiative for securing the safe release of Nepali student Bipin Joshi who has gone missing after the Hamas' on Israel.

"Bipin Joshi, an innocent Nepali student who was in Israel in connection to his educational practical exam, is missing following Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7, 2023 and his condition is not known yet," the PM said, adding, "I want to again place a request before he Government of Qatar for facilitating his prompt and safe release."

He further said, "I would like to request Your Highness to take personal initiative and draw attention on this topic."

Expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in West Asia, the PM wished that may peace be restored with the halt in war at the earliest.

Taskforce to facilitate investment

Meanwhile, Nepal and Qatar have agreed to form a taskforce from both sides to facilitate investment and other areas of mutual cooperation.

According to Dr Rupak Sapkota, foreign affairs advisor to the Prime Minister, such an agreement was reached during the one-to-one and the bilateral delegation level between Prime Minister Dahal and the Qatari Amir who returned home today on completion of his two-day State visit to Nepal beginning on Tuesday.  

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