Over the last few years businessmen from Pakistan have regularly participated in trade fairs/exhibitions organized in Nepal. In 2013, Pakistani businessmen participated at the Nepal International Consumer Expo, held from 21-25 February 2013. Pakistan’s furniture, leather garments, handicraft items and textile were displayed at the Expo. Pakistan also participated at the 11th Handicraft Trade Fair, held in Kathmandu from November 27 to December 01, 2013. More than ten exhibitors set their stalls at the fair and exhibited Pakistani products ranging from handicrafts to furniture and textile items.
The first-ever single country trade exhibition of Pakistani products was held in Kathmandu in May 2010. The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Mission, set up more than 15 stalls at United World Trade Centre, exhibiting a wide range of Pakistani products. Response of Nepalese visitors at the first-ever exhibition by Pakistani businessmen was very encouraging. In July 2011, the Embassy was instrumental in organizing the second single country exhibition, “Made in Pakistan” in Kathmandu which proved to be a great success. Mission’s efforts to promote Pakistani products in Nepal and continued interest of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce have both made the “Made in Pakistan Exhibition” become a yearly feature in Nepal.
The 5th Exhibition was held at the World Trade Centre in Kathmandu from 23-29 September 2014. The exhibitors from Pakistan arranged 40 stalls at the Center that displayed Pakistani products ranging from furniture to textile and garments to handicrafts. On Mission’s request Minister for Commerce and Supplies Mr. Sunil Bahadur Thapa consented to inaugurate the fourth “Made in Pakistan Exhibition” on September 23, 2014. According to estimates around seventy thousand (70,000) Nepalese visited the week-long exhibition. Businessmen from Pakistan also participated at the “National Industrial Trade Fair-2013” at Pokhara Exhibition Center, Pokhara from January 24 – February 03, 2014. Pakistani exhibitors displayed onyx and wooden handicrafts and leather goods and jackets. The Embassy again facilitated the businessmen in participating at the Pokhara Exhibition. Due to this Mission’s consistent efforts, a four member business delegation from Nepal was invited to participate in EXPO Pakistan, which was organized in Karachi from September 24-26, 2013. However, instead of four, we managed to send a two-member business delegation for participation in EXPO Pakistan. Both the Nepali businessmen, who are in the pharmaceutical business, established useful contacts with their counterparts in Pakistan. The TDAP consented to grant guest status to the two Nepali businessmen.
Nepal has meanwhile, not participated in any of various trade exhibitions organized in Pakistan from time to time. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) had expressed an interest in participating at the 3rd Nepal International Trade Fair, scheduled from March 6-10, 2014. Although this Mission had rendered all possible support to FPCCI in order to facilitate its participation, however, at the last moment FPCCI expressed its inability to participate in the fair. Meanwhile, some exhibitors from the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce displayed Pakistani products at the exhibition.
There are a number of areas in which economic cooperation between Pakistan and Nepal can make progress. These include: agriculture, education, infrastructure, IT, construction, cement, leather garments/goods, rice, sugar, spices, ladies/children clothing, surgical goods and dried fruits etc. However, a concerted effort needs to be made on both sides to bring about desired economic cooperation between the two countries. The “6th Made in Pakistan Exhibition” is being organized in Kathmandu from October 06-12, 2015. Preparations are in hand for making necessary arrangement for the exhibition. 20 exhibitors from Pakistan also participated in the International Trade Fair in Kathmandu held in March 2016.
TOURISM AND CULTURE
The Government of Pakistan has been offering a number of scholarships to Nepalese nationals to study in Pakistan, within the framework of its Pakistan Technical Assistant Program (PTAP) that supports the study of foreign nationals from developing countries, at different public institutions in the country. The yearly scholarships are made available to the Government of Nepal for pursuing graduate degree programs in different subjects.
In its efforts to promote contacts and provide capacity building and technical assistance to Nepalese officials working in different fields, the Government of Pakistan has been offering vacancies to Nepal for the various training programs conducted in the country from time to time.
Special Assistance Program for South Asia (SAPSA)
In 2003, Pakistan decided to initiate a program – Special Assistance Programme for South Asia (SAP-SA) – with the aim of providing assistance to all South Asian countries, except India. The program aimed to provide a mechanism for sharing technical competency and skills that Pakistan had developed over the years and also to extend support to the South Asian countries by providing assistance in their human resourse development. Over the years, SAP-SA has gone a long way in creating goodwill, amongst common people in Nepal and disseminated a positive image of Pakistan in the country. Ever since the initiation of the Special Assistance Program for South Asia (SAPSA), our Embassy in Kathmandu carries out a number of activities, on a yearly basis, which aim at creating goodwill and building long-term relationships between the Embassy and important individuals and organizations of the host country. Most of the activities under SAPSA are in education, health, culture and sports and I.T sectors.
Over the years, activities under the Special Assistance Program for South Asia include:
Resident Ambassadors of Pakistan to Nepal
Mr. Arshad Saud Khosa – July 2012-December 2015