SUMIT KUMAR AGRAWAL : Bridge Between Nepal and Peru's Economic Diplomacy

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SUMIT KUMAR AGRAWAL : Bridge Between Nepal and Peru's Economic Diplomacy

Even though FDI from Peru is nominal in Nepal, Peruvians are yet to learn about the investment opportunities.

Nepal and the Republic of Peru established diplomatic relations on 28 January 1976. The Embassy of Nepal in Brasilia, Brazil, is currently accredited to Peru, and, likewise, the Peruvian Embassy in India is accredited to Nepal. Peru has established an Honorary Consulate in Kathmandu to embark on friendship with Nepal in a more meaningful way. Contacts between the two countries primarily take place in the international fora. Both countries believe that the UN should be strengthened and play an increasingly active role in maintaining peace and stability in the world. As active members of the NAM and G-77, both countries have been advocating the just causes of the developing countries, while sharing common concerns of being climate change vulnerable in the mountainous countries.

The bilateral relationship between the two countries is of friendship and cordiality. It’s been almost 46 years since the establishment of bilateral relations between Nepal and Peru. There is already a strong relationship between the two countries. But due to the recent pandemic situation, the result is not as fruitful as desired, shares Sumit Kumar Agrawal, vice chairman of MS group and honorary consul of Peru in Nepal.

Despite the establishment of a formal relationship is established 28 January 1976, the trade between Nepal and Peru is yet to achieve significant growth.

For the last 3 years, there is no significant growth in trade and economy from both the countries. "However, in the coming year, there might be significant growth, and we are also working through the Nepal Peru Chamber of Commerce," Agrawal adds.

The size of interactions on trade, investment and tourism between Nepal and Peru remains nominal at the moment. Some of the commodities imported by Nepal from Peru are chemicals, pharmaceutical products, fabrics etc. Nepal exports carpet and other textile floor covering, and clothing to Peru. In 2019, Nepal imported goods worth USD 79,734 from Peru, while exports amounted to USD 66,696.

As an entrepreneur and hotelier, Agrawal shares that Nepal should adopt mining technology, geoscientific survey and research, environmental geological studies and engineering, mineral exploration, promotion of mineral-based industry, and exploration of petroleum and natural gases side by side with trade and tourism.

Agrawal and his team established the Nepal-Peru Chamber of Commerce & Industries on 31 March 2014 to facilitate trade activities.

We established the Nepal-Peru Chamber of Commerce & Industries to bring the economies of the two countries together. It has conducted some programs regarding this. I have also been involved in such programs where I am too brief about the current scenario. But at present, there is no huge investment from Peru, Agrawal adds. Nepal has remained a favoured place of travel for travellers, who are interested in mountaineering and other adventures. The number at present remains low, but the potentials for promoting Nepal’s tourism market are high.

Nepal is a country of mountains and has huge potential for mountaineering and other adventures too. There is also a good number of Peruvian visiting Nepal for mountaineering and other adventures. However, the government needs to build more tourism infrastructure and needs to arrange hassle free travelling environment for tourists visiting Nepal, Agrawal opines.

South America is home to some powerful footballing nations and Peru over the years has emerged as a dark horse in the sport. Likewise, Nepali are mad about football and Agrawal and his team are looking into promoting sports diplomacy to bring the sports-loving citizens closer.

However, Agrawal shares that the sports authority of the nation should take the initiative to promote sports diplomacy. "I think it depends upon National Sports Council and All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) policies. If they approach us we can send a proposal through the Embassy of Peru in India to the sports council of Peru," he opines.

However, FDI from Peru is nominal in Nepal. Peruvians are yet to learn about the investment opportunities. Likewise, they haven't identified any potential area and sector to invest in, he adds.

However, having said that, we have a lot of scope in mining and exploration of minerals and natural gases. We can bring Peru’s technology and expertise, he adds.

Agrawal is also a member of the Honorary Consulate Corps Nepal, an association of consulates in Nepal. He shares that consulates in Nepal can act as a bridge.

We invite investors for foreign investments so that we can increase economic trade ties effectively and differently in the field, he says.

Talking about the work done by Honorary Consulate Corps Nepal, Agarwal shares that it has been done naturally and smoothly. Likewise, he adds that everybody is working from their end to develop and promote Nepal’s economic diplomacy.

When asked about how much priority the government gives to economic diplomacy, he opines Nepal government has prioritised economic diplomacy. However, he shares that, at present, there is limited support from the government comparatively in retrospect.

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