Prez Paudel solicits Qatar’s investment in Nepal’s water resources, agriculture and tourism sectors

Published On: April 24, 2024 10:30 AM NPT By: Dilip Paudel

KATHMANDU, April 24: Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir (King) of Qatar, the main labor destination of Nepalis, arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday. He came to Kathmandu for a two-day state visit and met President Ram Chandra Paudel at Sheetal Niwas.

During the meeting, President Paudel urged Qatari King Thani to consider investing in Nepal for the development and prosperity of Nepal. Qatar is known as one of the wealthiest countries globally. Recalling that Nepali workers have contributed to the development of Qatar, President Paudel asked the Qatari King to invest in Nepal's tourism, agriculture, and hydropower sectors, according to Paudel’s Press Advisor Kiran Pokharel.

"Since Nepal has moved forward on the journey of economic development and prosperity, President Paudel expected investment from Qatar in Nepal's efforts," said Pokharel. "Since there is a good possibility of cooperation between the two nations in the fields of trade, tourism and investment, President Paudel hopes for support from Qatar in these efforts," he said.

President Paudel said that the visit has elevated the relationship between Nepal and Qatar to new heights. President Paudel has also asked the Qatari King for cooperation on common issues such as protecting the earth from climate change, mountain conservation, water resource management and maintaining environmental balance.

During the meeting, President Paudel expressed Nepal's concern over the conflict in the Middle East. He also praised the role played by Qatar in promoting peace and bringing an end to conflicts in the region.

According to President Paudel's press adviser Pokharel, the Qatari king expressed his gratitude for the great contribution of Nepalis to Qatar’s development. He expressed his belief that the discussions and agreement between the two countries on Wednesday would pave the way for new opportunities for Qatari investment in Nepal's water resources, agriculture, and tourism sectors.

The Qatari King highlighted global concerns about climate change and stressed the need for implementing agreements to address this issue effectively.

During the meeting, the Qatari King expressed optimism that the visit would identify more areas of cooperation and strengthen relations between Qatar and Nepal. He was accompanied by a delegation of approximately 150 people.

The Qatari King's visit, just before Nepal's investment conference, is expected to send a positive message about Nepal at the international level.

Since Nepali workers have contributed to the development of Qatar, stakeholders have said that initiatives should be taken to bring in Qatar's investment in the development of Nepal. President of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) in Qatar Ramesh Bhatt said that Nepal should benefit from Qatar.

He said that Nepali youths have contributed to the development of Qatar by reaching Qatar. Bhatt said that since Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, Qatar should be asked to invest in tourism, agriculture, hydropower, education and health sectors in Nepal. "Qatar's investment should be brought into Nepal," said Bhatt, "Since Qatar has provided assistance to other countries, Nepal should also be able to get similar assistance."

RK Sharma, a non-resident Nepali doing business in Qatar, suggested exploring the possibility of importing chemical fertilizers from Qatar to address Nepal's ongoing shortage. "This collaboration could address the fertilizer shortage in Nepal," Sharma added.

In honor of the Qatari King, President Paudel hosted a dinner at Soaltee Hotel on Tuesday. The government also declared a public holiday on Tuesday to mark the occasion. Security has been tightened in Kathmandu during the Qatari king's visit.

This visit marks the first high-level visit to Nepal from the Middle East. A number of welcome gates and banners were placed along the main roads of Kathmandu to welcome the Qatari King. He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Wednesday.

Information and Communication Minister Rekha Sharma announced that agreements on cooperation in youth and sports, as well as education and scientific research, will be signed between Nepal and Qatar during the visit.

Diplomatic relations between Nepal and Qatar were established on January 21, 1977. After Nepal signed a labor agreement with Qatar on March 21, 2005, Nepali workers have been employed in Qatar.

Since then, the labor agreement has not been revised. Not only workers but also goods are exported from Nepal to Qatar. Qatar is also a trading partner of Nepal. Nepal's tea, coffee, drinking water, spices, and cardamom are exported to Qatar.

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