Entrepreneurs seek direct air connectivity with Russia
Businessmen today requested Russian ambassador Sergey Vasilievich Velichkin to help resume direct fights between Kathmandu and Moscow.
Lack of direct air link with Russia has restricted the two countries in increasing business activities due to low connectivity, they said, adding that the direct flight will also help enhance bilateral trade.
The direct flight will also help increase tourist to Nepal as the flow from Russia has been decreasing lately, they added.
Earlier, Aeroflot, the national carrier of Russia, used to have direct flight to between Kathmandu and Moscow.
Addressing an interaction organised by Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) here today, Velichkin said increased connectivity is key to boost bilateral trade and attract Russian tourists to Nepal.
“There haven’t been much tourism promotions of Nepal in Russia,” he said, adding that he is ready to provide required support. He also suggested Nepali Embassy in Russia to promote Nepal’s tourism in Russia as Nepal offers huge opportunity.
Earlier, the government had requested India to provide facility to pick-up and drop-off passenger at New Delhi airport, as the traffic between Kathmandu and Moscow is very less.
However, the entrepreneurs said that the direct flight would not only help increase traffic flow but also boost bilateral trade and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to Nepal in diverse sectors. During the last visit of the Russian entrepreneurs they had shown interest to invest in Nepal.
On the occasion, NCC president Rajesh Kazi Shresthaasked the ambassodar to help increase bilateral relationships between the Russian and Nepali entrepreneurs, apart from ensuring Nepal's participation in trade fairs in Russia.
"Nepal has good export potential in handicrafts and carpets,” he said, adding that the country has planned to graduate from current status of Least Developed Countries to developing country by 2022. "Nepal offers lots of sectors including hydropower, tourism, physical infrastructure, agriculture and handicraft for Russian investors."
Presenting a profile of various sectors for investment Shrestha told the ambassadors that Nepal has been looking for domestic and foreign investments. Foreign investors can reap benefit by selling their products to large neighbouring markets – India and China – as both the countries provide zero tariff facility to different Nepali goods, Shrestha added.
The increased exports will help Nepal reduce ballooning trade deficit. Nepali handicraft goods, carpets, pashmina, tea and coffee are some of the products that have export potential.
On the occasion, ambassador of Slovakia to Nepal Sizmund Bertok said Nepal should sign double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) to attract investment from Slovakia. "Slovak investors are interested mainly in automobile, machinery and agriculture sector," he added.