Govt serious about economic diplomacy

KATHMANDU: Coming forth with economic diplomacy as foreign policy objective,

the government is all set to

establish attaches to that end in

half a dozen countries.

Ministry of Commerce has forwarded a proposal to the Ministry

of Finance and Ministry of Foreign

Affairs recently. Talking to The Himalayan Times, Ganesh Prasad Dhakal spokesperson at the Ministry of Commerce said that they

would forward the proposal to

the cabinet after green signal from

the two ministries.

Earlier the government in its budget speech had allocated budget to establish economy attaches in different countries. The move has come at a time when critics have been criticising the government for doing too little in promoting economic diplomacy. According to Pandey, government is planning to send joint secretary or under secretary as economy counsellor, who would be a focal point to deal with economic activities.

A source at Ministry of foreign affairs, however, maintained that they are studying the proposal forwarded by the commerce Ministry.

Initially the government is making preparations for sending counsellors to six such countries.

The six countries are the ones which are important for Nepal to boost up its economy. It includes the United States of America, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong (Special administrative region of China), United Kingdom and Thailand.

Economy Counsellor in the UK would also be covering other Nordic Countries, while the one in Thailand could do the same for other Southeast Asian countries and Australia.

The main tasks of the counsellor would be to collect information about various economic activities of Nepal and the host countries through a regularly updated database.

Likewise, gathering information on business opportunities and promoting trade of Nepal are the other responsibilities.

Meanwhile, various exhibitions, lobbying with influential interest groups in the host countries, building networks with the business related contacts and simplifying visa are also the part of the job.

“The government has given a high priority to economic diplomacy,

the decision to send counsellors

is an exemplification of the

same,” Pandey informed.