KATHMANDU, Nov 8: A delegation of Japanese businesspersons and industrialist has arrived in Kathmandu to look for business opportunities in Nepal.
The 12-member delegation has representatives of eight different companies associated with Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in Singapore.
Nepali business leaders are encouraged by the visit and their interest to invest in Nepal.
During its four-day visit, the delegation led by President of JCCI Singapore, Takuhiko Tochiori, is visiting industrial estates of Simara, Bara and Birgunj as well as visit the Special Economic Zone of Bhairahawa to explore investment opportunity in Nepal.
At a meeting with the representatives of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on Tuesday, Tochiori said that the team is in Neal to study doing business environment in Nepal. “Our Nepal visit is a part of our regular annual program of embarking on foreign trips to explore business opportunity outside our country,” Tochiori said.
The Singapore-based Japanese industrialists from had visited Iran and Turkey in the past years.
FNCCI officials say that the interest shown by the Japanese business community to invest in Nepal relays a strong positive message to investors of other countries.
Tochiori said in the meeting that they will prepare a plan for investment in Nepal after a rigorous study of investment areas in Nepal, market, available workforce as well as laws and policies of the Government of Nepal.
A representative of Mitsui Fudosan Pvt Ltd, which established Hotel Himalaya in Lalitpur in 1980s, is also on the team. The company sold the hotel to Nepali businessmen in 2001.
Talking to Republica, Tetsuya Matsufuji, managing director of Mitsui Fudosan, said the group had to sell the hotel because of the economic crisis in Japan in the 1990s.
According to the FNCCI, the Japanese businessmen have shown interest to invest in energy, cargo services, hospitality, logistics management services, agro-based industries and tourism sector.
Kohei Hashimoto, managing director of Nippon Express -- a global logistics company - said the company was interested to invest in Nepal as the country can be a good linkage between China and India. “We are studying the demand and potential of our services in Nepal,” Hashimoto said, adding that they see Nepal like Laos which connects China with South East Asian countries.
Addressing the delegates, FNCCI President Bhawani Rana encouraged Japanese investors to make investment in Nepal. “All economic indicators are positive at present. Also, the government has accorded top priority to economic agendas. Likewise, the country has to move in the direction of stability with the successful local level elections and approaching provincial and parliamentary election,” she added. She also assured all possible support of the FNCCI to the Japanese investors.
The delegation is in Nepal in the initiation of Masashi Ogawa, the Ambassador of Japan to Nepal.
Speaking at the program, Ogawa stressed the need to intensify diplomatic efforts by both the government to bring more investment in the country.
Anup Kumar Shrestha, deputy director of FNCCI, said it was good to note that Japanese business community has shown interest to invest in Nepal. “Improving political situation and positive attitude of the government, as well as the political parties toward investors, are the few notable pull factors for investors,” added Shrestha.
FNCCI has received similar delegations from countries like China and Austria, among others, in recent weeks.