Biz News February 2016

  11 min 7 sec to read

Hotel Serenity in the Heart of Thamel 
A new 28-room hotel has opened in the heart of Nepal’s tourist hub. Visitors to Kathmandu can now stay at Hotel Serenity in Thamel.

A press release from the new hotel said, it is situated within the city yet, away from the hustle and bustle and like its name the hotel provides guests with a serene and peaceful ambiance. 

Sleek and modern, Hotel Serenity offers 28 contemporarily furnished guest rooms categorized as Superior rooms without AC and Deluxe rooms with AC. All the rooms comprise attached bathrooms, 32 inch LED TVs, Wi-Fi facility and more. The terrace of the hotel is ideal for sun bathing during the winters and relaxing during the summers where guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the landscape and the surrounding mountains.

The restaurant and bar at the basement of the hotel provides buffet breakfast for the guests.

The hotel offers amenities like 24 hours manager on duty, 24 hours reception and concierge, Smoking and Non-smoking rooms, a Business Center, High-speed Internet access: wireless Wi-Fi, etc.

The hotel’s restaurant offers a lavish American Breakfast from 6:30 AM till 10:00 AM. It also serves special a-la-carte menu for those who want something light from 6:30 AM till 8:00 PM. 

The hotel also said that its City View Garden & Bar, offering an array of delicious snacks, exotic drinks and cocktails will open soon.

Mega Projects Hit Hard by Fuel Crisis 
The ongoing construction of the Upper Karnali and Arun III hydropower projects has come to a virtual halt due to the current fuel crisis created by the unofficial blockade by India. Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) CEO Radhesh Pant said, “Currently the situation is that we haven’t been able to meet the fuel demand of these mega projects and this has hampered construction.”

Before the crisis, preparations were being made to construct the transmission lines. Both projects are of 900MW and are being constructed by Indian companies. 

Int’l Arrivals Drop by 6% 
Nepal’s international air passenger arrivals dropped by six percent in 2015 as compared to 2014, said Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Director General Sanjiv Gautam on the occasion of CAAN’s 17th anniversary. Similarly, compared to 2013, passenger and aircraft arrivals increased by 11.83 percent and 15.20 respectively in 2014.

In 2015, aircraft arrivals dropped by 0.39 percent while cargo growth increased by 24.70 percent due to the entry of foreign relief material following the April 25 earthquake. Similarly, within the first 10 months of 2015, around 2.6 million international air passengers passed through Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).   

Likewise, the number of domestic air passengers also dropped by 4.25 percent in 2015 as compared to 2014. But the arrival of aircraft and cargo transport increased by 20 and 8.39 percent, respectively. Gautam also said that the drop in passenger numbers has come about because of the earthquake and the ongoing blockade. No effect has occurred in air traffic this year, he added.

Meanwhile, CAAN earned Rs 3.10 billion including development charge in fiscal year (FY) 2014/15. Due to the earthquake and current political instability, the income is likely to decrease in FY 2015/16, according to CAAN.

‘BIPPA with China Needed’
Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) President Rajesh Kaji Shrestha has said that Nepal needs to sign a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with China. 

In a meeting with Commerce Minister Deepak Bohara, Shrestha expressed the view that Nepal and China should sign such an agreement at the earliest. He focused on the scientific management of import of petroleum products and the operationalisation of Nepal’s northern border points. Informing about the economic and contemporary problems, Shrestha said that during the term of Minister Bohara, a lot of improvement in trade and commerce is expected.

Similarly, Bohara requested the private sector to give suggestions on the improvement of trade and investment between the two countries for the PM’s visit to India and China.

NT Launches Social Networking Site 'Meet'
Nepal Telecom has launched its new social networking site named 'Meet'. On January 18, the Minister for Information and Communication Sherdhan Rai formally launched the site in Kathmandu. Speaking at the programme, Rai said that the new product is the outcome of the state-owned telecom's effort to provide quality and innovative services to its clients. He also added that the new product will encourage subscribers to be more connected to NT. "But it’s the need to win the hearts of the subscribers by enhancing its quality and increasing access to remote areas, "he added.

Nepal Telecom has introduced the new product with features like sharing text, pictures, audio and video contents and to provide the platform for it to interact with its subscribers regarding its service and facilities.

According to the NT, customers can directly log in through the website or download the MEET app form Apple's App store and Google Play Store with valid GSM or CDMA number. The service allows subscribers to send up to 10 sms for free every day. Similarly, package subscribers will also be able to use bulk sms at a time with specific cost.

Buddhi Prasad Acharya, managing director of NT, said that the company is trying its best to make the sure the customers feel a change in the quality of the service."We will be introducing various services in 'Meet' and will be upgrading it continuously," Acharya said, adding the new product is in line with the company's vision of providing new and value added service.

The company has a total investment of Rs 102 million for developing this app as per the company officials.

Sagarmatha Cement in CSR Move
Sagarmatha Cement, in association with Standard Chartered Bank and Men's Room Reloaded (MRR), has initiated a post earthquake relief programme by providing basic winter survival material to the people of Gorkha district made homeless by the April earthquake. Issuing a press release, the company also asked citizens to once again step up and help the families in these affected areas to fight the winter and prevent more deaths. Those interested can donate used winter clothes, blankets, shoes, jackets, socks etc. to help the families, said the company. The donations can be dropped at the corporate office of Gorahi Cement at Trade Tower, Thapathali, Triveni Complex, Putalisadak and all the branches of Standard Charted inside the valley.

Govt Should Also Investin Hetauda Tunnel Highway: Prachanda
The chairman of UCPN (Maoist), Prachanda has said that the government should also start investing in the Hetauda – Sisneri – Kathmandu tunnel highway. Prachanda made the comment while addressing the 49th AGM of the Makwanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier in January. 

He said that putting government money into building the tunnel highway will help in the country’s development. The project was left in the lurch after Nepal Purbadhar Bikas Company Limited (NPBCL) failed to collect the USD 350 million needed for the tunnel. 

The tunnel highway is seen as being indispensible as the existing road network has become inadequate to ease traffic pressure. “As private companies aren’t able to collect the funds for the construction of the tunnel highway, homework is being carried out for the government to invest in the project,” said Prachanda. 

Also addressing the programme, Pashupati Murarka, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) said that all sides should come together and work for an “economic revolution.” Pointing out how the country’s economic sector has reached an uneasy stage over the past six months, Murarka stated that economic prosperity is the ultimate aim of Nepal’s new constitution. 

“We all have to perform political activities for the economic revolution. There should be legally binding agreements between the private and government sectors for economic prosperity,” said Murarka.

Similarly, State Minister for Industry, Megh Raj Nepali said that it is now time for everyone to come together for the betterment of Nepal’s economy using the rights given by Nepal’s new constitution. Lawmaker and FNCCI member 

Ramnarayan  Bidari,  mid-western regional president Arunraj Sumargi, and chairperson of Chitwan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Rajan Gautam also spoke at the programme.

8848 Vodka Bottled with Superior Quality
The consumption and sales of vodka has been growing worldwide as more discerning consumers discover the unique qualities of this drink. With clear, colorless and a neutral taste this spirit provides the ultimate mixer for an unlimited palette to create any number of cocktails unless of course you like to take it neat.

The 8848 Vodka is a premium product that begins with the finest winter wheat that is grown in France as winter being the most favorable season. It’s the time of year when a more flavorful kind of wheat is produced which is responsible for giving our premium vodka the purest quality. This is primarily what sets it apart from other vodka as other producers are known to harvest wheat during the normal season which is usually in October or distill the vodka from rice and other different types of inferior grains. But 8848 Vodka relies only on wheat that is harvested after winter. Known as winter wheat this wheat survives the cold which has locked within it the most flavors in comparison to those produced at other times of the year.

Especially the wheat that is harvested after winter has been found to give vodka a superior taste. But 8848 goes further than that to enhance that clean, pure vodka taste; relying on a more traditional method to create its signature drink as 8848 Vodka uses copper in the distilling process. A copper distillation column is being used as it’s believed to be the metal that best purifies during distillation. The vodka produced is further blended with spring water from the Himalayas to give 8848 that unmatched purity and taste. The vodka has no additives and artificial flavors added and the product is sugar free as well as glycerin free. To assure best taste and quality 8848 is distilled five times to devoid any impurities. The 8848 Vodka is in a class of it’s own.

Bangladesh Expo 2016 Held
The embassy of Bangladesh successfully organised the 'Bangladesh Expo 2016' from January 21 to January 25 at Bhrikutimadap, Kathmandu. The expo showcased different products like construction materials, readymade garments, plastic products, cosmetics, jute products, leather products, textiles, pharmaceuticals, footwear, electronics, handicrafts, agro machineries, processed food ,IT solution, consumer products and tourism services. 

Nepali exhibitors also showcased their products at the expo. According to the organisers, the expo created a platform for the new technology, new opportunity for the investment in hydropower for sustainable energy and investment in tourism and hospitality sector.

High government officials from both Nepal and Bangladesh visited the expo. Similarly, representatives from various industrial organisations, private sector and experts from different sectors visited the expo. The expo was managed by Synthesis Acquisition and Events Pvt Ltd.

64th Int’l Customs Day Celebrated
Finance minister, Bishnu Poudel has said the government is ready to move forward collaborating with the private sector. Poudel made the statement at a programme organised by Nepal Chambers of Commerce and industry to mark the 64th International Customs Day.

“The economy of the nation can be uplifted by encouraging the private sector,” Poudel said. “The government is serious in this,” he added. Pointing out that there are many problems in Nepal’s economic system, Poudel said the government is working out the obstacles in the way of economic prosperity. “Economic prosperity is only possible if there is proper coordination between the government, private sector and stakeholders,” said Poudel.

Similarly, General Director of the customs department, Sisir Kumar Dhungana said that the work should be carried out positively. Presenting the details of the department’s future plans, Dhungana stated that the department will do its best to solve the problem for industrialists and businessmen.

Ashok Leyland CV Maker of the Year
Ashok Leyland, which is being sold and distributed in Nepali market by LT enterprises, a trading subsidiary of IME group, received the award of CV Maker of the Year. The company believes that the award is proof of the effort, dedication and work performance of the company.

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