KATHMANDU, Oct 4: Visiting Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Milton Dick, paid a courtesy call on Speaker Devraj Ghimire on Wednesday.
During the meeting held at the Singha Durbar, they exchanged views on parliamentary practices in both countries, promotion of bilateral relations and so on.
Describing Nepal and Australia as democratic nations, Speaker Ghimire pointed out the need to further enhance democratic norms, values, practices and institutions in Nepal and Australia through the exchanges of parliamentary visits. He hoped that the exchange of high-level visits between the two nations would contribute to taking the bilateral friendly relations to a new height.
Expressing happiness over the restoration of a parliamentary friendship group in Australia, Speaker Ghimire said the recently formed Nepal-Australia Friendship Group in Nepal would help further enhance the parliamentary relations between the two countries. He proposed an idea of promoting the exchange of visits of youth politicians to further consolidate the bilateral political ties and the people-to-people relations.
The Speaker of the People's House of Australia has been in Kathmandu on a three-day official visit to Nepal beginning October 3.
Speaker Ghimire expressed the belief that trade and investment between the two countries would gain further momentum if they signed on the trade and investment framework agreement at the earliest.
Stating that Australia is an important higher education destination for Nepali students, he urged Australia to increase the scholarship quota for Nepali students and to encourage them to return back to Nepal on completion of their studies.
The Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Dick underscored on building relations between the two countries at the people's level. He said his country is always with Nepal in the development partnership and in the campaign against climate change.
Welcoming the formation in Nepal also of a parliamentary friendship group looking after Australia, he expressed the confidence that discussions would be held on formulation of laws and on policy matters, including budget.