Ravi Bhakta Shrestha, president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) is to hold meetings and discussions with the American business counterparts and leaders, according to press communiqué here today.

Shrestha is accompanying the Nepali delegation led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to the United States. The Nepali delegation is leaving on May 5 to attend a United Nations’ programme.

According to the release, Shrestha, as a representative of the private sector will hold meetings and discussions with the American business community in the presence of PM Deuba. The discussion will mainly be on export business as well as American investment in Nepal.

FNCCI organised a broad discussion with the representatives of its member organisations on Thursday and Friday in order to bring about increased involvement of the Nepali business community. President Shrestha has assured that he will table the concerns raised by the Nepali businessmen and asked for their help on tourism, investment on power development and exportation of readymade garments, carpets and handicrafts.

The US ranks second in export from Nepal after India with about 26 per cent (US $200 million). Major export items to the US are readymade garments, hand knotted carpets, jewellery products, Lokta paper and leather articles.

Due to adverse impact on both national and international economy, export to the US has declined sharply. Among the export items, readymade garment occupies about 80 per cent alone, which has fallen by about 50 per cent in the recent days.

FNCCI has asked for preferential treatment by the US to imports from Nepal, which will help Nepali exports to adjust with changing patterns in global trade, including phasing out of quota for textiles.