Nepal-Indonesia Business Forum Strengthens Bilateral Connections

Kathmandu, October 5 : The Embassy of Indonesia for Bangladesh and Nepal, in collaboration with the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Honorary Consulate of Indonesia in Kathmandu, orchestrated a significant ‘Business Forum’ in the capital city on Thursday. The primary objective was to cultivate and enhance bilateral investment, trade, and tourism relations between the two nations.

During the event, Ambassador Heru H. Subolo, Indonesia’s envoy to Bangladesh and Nepal, underscored the pivotal role of augmenting both business interactions and people-to-people exchanges between the countries. He highlighted the untapped potential for bilateral business collaboration and urged governments and business communities to explore these opportunities.

Chandra Prasad Dhakal, President of FNCCI and Honorary Consul of Indonesia in Nepal, echoed the call to promote tourism and trade between the two nations. He urged Indonesian investors to consider Nepal as an attractive investment destination, emphasizing areas of comparative advantage.

Furthermore, Dhakal emphasized the potential advantages of establishing a direct flight between Jakarta and Kathmandu, which could significantly facilitate trade, tourism, and strengthen people-to-people connections.

Additionally, he appealed for the Indonesian government’s support in prioritizing Nepali goods in the Indonesian market, with the aim of further enhancing trade relations.

The annual business forum serves as a platform to fortify the ties between Indonesia and Nepal. Indonesia, boasting a population of 270 million, stands as the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a newly industrialized nation. Globally, it ranks 16th among the largest economies, with a GDP of US$ 1.3 trillion in terms of purchasing power.

However, bilateral trade between Nepal and Indonesia remains relatively modest, standing at just US$ 20.6 million. Ambassador Subolo expressed Indonesia’s hope that Nepal would seize the potential of the Indonesian market more effectively.

Nepal predominantly exports carpets, tea, and jute products to Indonesia while importing palm oil, mineral fuels, wood, and paper from the country.

Ambassador Subolo also apprised attendees about the upcoming Trade Expo Indonesia, scheduled for October 18-22 this year, near Jakarta. The expo will primarily focus on Business-to-Business trade and promote tourism and investment exhibitions, showcasing Indonesian export-oriented products and services.

Furthermore, Ambassador Subolo and Dhakal discussed shared interests in collaboration, business development, and strengthening people-to-people relations. Dhakal requested the ambassador’s support in reinstating on-arrival visas for Nepali travelers visiting Indonesia, a provision that had been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2019.

In response, Ambassador Subolo pledged to engage with the Indonesian government to explore the possibility of reinstating on-arrival visas for Nepali travelers. He also expressed his commitment to supporting Nepal and Nepali businesses in exporting their goods to Indonesia.