Diplomatic missions need to become effective
Himalayan News Service
Kathmandu, June 6:
Ambassadors from various countries, including Nepal and the business community, have strongly stressed on making Nepali diplomatic missions abroad more effective and beneficial through sound economic diplomacy for attracting investment and strengthen the economy.
Various experts related with economic diplomacy spoke at a programme entitled ‘The Role of Diplomatic Missions in Enhancing Trade, Tourism and Investment in Nepal’ organised by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI). Speaking at the function, foreign minister Ramesh Nath Pandey said that our diplomatic mission heads need to be trained with documents related to national interests. Ambassadors need to be ‘smart and efficient’ with enough knowledge and skills to boost trade, investment, increase economic linkages, export, tourism, and technologies, among others to strengthen economic diplomacy. Pandey recalled that King Gyanendra has already announced making Nepal a transit point for India and China for which works has already started.
“Effective programmes need to be formulated by diplomatic missions for which strong bureaucratic linkages is a must,” the minister suggested. Ambassador of France to Nepal, Michel Jolivet said that enough resources are needed for effective operation of diplomatic missions. Nepali missions can work for the betterment of staff, data collection, information and other aspects to strengthen economic diplomacy, said Jolivet. He said that the Maoist insurgency has hurt Nepal’s business and economic prospects. He commented that Nepali diplomatic missions needed to have enough resources to work effectively as globalisation opens the doors for tremendous opportunities in today’s market. Former ambassador to US and vice-chairman of Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF). Mohan Man Sainju was of the opinion that the role of the private sector is increasing day by day. It needs to play a critical role in enhancing trade and economy, he said.
He talked about man, money and materials to make economic diplomacy effective and beneficial for Nepal. Former Ambassador to China, Rajeshwore Acharya complained that our ambassadors should possess sound knowledge to make the missions effective. Basanta Mishra, president of Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO), said despite embassies having existed for years, lack of coordination has affected Nepal to get desired results. He informed that there has been a downfall of over 50 per cent in tourist arrivals this year from France to Nepal, compared to last year. Binod Chaudhary, president of CNI, opined that diplomacy today does not mean only political reporting but it also means marketing the country on the basis of a national agenda. Highlighting the scope and objectives of economic diplomacy, Chaudhary said that it is needed to promote investment, both inward and outward,
wealth creation, promotion of export and tourism. To achieve this, embassies need to change their mindset, develop relations with key business organisations, and need to function as a contact for the private sector, Chaudhary said. CNI suggested the government to appoint roaming ambassadors who can travel on their own expenses and stimulate these organs for national benefits. It has also suggested developing a focal point either at the ministry of foreign affairs or even one of the business organisations that is prepared and capable of functioning as a focal point in Nepal.