Business Roundtable on Trade Tourism and Investment Opportunities in Nepal

Press Release: Business Roundtable at Nepal Consulate, New York

The Consulate General of Nepal in New York, in collaboration with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, hosted a business roundtable on “Trade, Tourism and Investment Opportunities in Nepal” on February 15, 2024.

The event was organized to promote business collaboration between Nepal and the United States and to leverage the network of Nepali diaspora and friends to boost Nepali exports and attract more tourists and investors to Nepal. More than fifty entrepreneurs and professionals representing various sectors participated in the roundtable.

Acting Consul General Bishnu Gautam welcomed the participants and invited them to give their input, and submit proposals and suggestions to promote bilateral business, tourism, and other linkages. He invited the prospective investors to participate in the upcoming third Investment Summit hosted by the Government of Nepal in Kathmandu on 28-29 April 2024.

In his keynote remarks H.E. Lok Bahadur Thapa, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations in New York, shared about Nepal’s policies on foreign direct investment, legal and institutional frameworks and strategies, as well as facilities and incentives offered to foreign investors in Nepal. He complimented the American and non-resident Nepali entrepreneurs for their investments in Nepal and support for the economic growth and job creation by best utilizing their knowledge, skills and technology gained from higher studies in USA.

Special Guest speaker Ms. Olivia Sznaza, representing the US Department of State Office of Foreign Missions in New York, spoke of the importance of deeper cooperation between Nepal and the United States. She highlighted the US support to the development of Nepal, and growing interest in Nepal among US companies and travelers. She congratulated the Nepali diaspora members for their contribution in bridging the two countries.

Mr. Mark Jaffe, President and CEO of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce; Ms. Dina Rabiner, Vice President of Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; and Mr. William McGowen, President and CEO of the Source Atlantic; and Mr. David J. Martin, President of Midas Capital Investments expressed their enthusiasm for promoting business exchanges with Nepal.

The second segment of the event was a roundtable discussion featuring two separate thematic panels, six speakers each, “Nepal-USA Trade, Tourism and Investment: Challenges and Opportunities”, and “Engaging Friends and Leveraging Diaspora to Stimulate Startups and Development”.

The first panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Kiran Chetry, an award-winning TV journalist, and media entrepreneur. Speakers Mr. Anil Rauniyar, CEO of Nepali Garden in New York; Mr. Nishchal Banskota, Founder and Owner of Nepal Tea Collective New York; Mr. Pradeep Shrestha, Chairman of recently established Greater New York Nepali Chamber of Commerce and CEO of Travel Bureau of Nepal; Dr. Seth Sicroff, CEO of Mountain Legacy International and owner of Sunrise Pashmina; and Mr. Shailesh Mishra, former CEO of Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal (IPPAN) shared their insightful views with the guests. They also spoke about their experiences doing business in Nepal, and their other efforts in business networking.

Dr. Sicroff, a frequent visitor of Nepal who is active in promoting Nepal tourism in the United States, spoke about challenges and opportunities facing tourists-turned-entrepreneur in the pashmina sector.

The second panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Sneha Sharma, Senior Risk Manager at American Express. Speakers included Mr. Bed Kharel, investor and Vice President of USA-Nepal Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Biraj Rijal, CEO of Everest Federal Credit Union, an innovative financial institution founded by Nepali diaspora in America; Mr. Jay Dahal, CEO and co-founder of Machnet, a cross-border payment and startup project; and Dr. Sameer Maskey, founder and CEO of Fuse Machine, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University. Dr. Maskey spoke about his successful startup company in New York and his efforts to foment other ventures in Nepal. Mr. Pravesh Rijal, head of Quantitative Strategies at Cross River Bank, shared his experiences of working with Nepali financial institutions to promote startups in Nepal. The speakers unanimously emphasized that the next stage of development worldwide will be led by IT, especially AI; and there was a consensus among the diaspora speakers that they are ready to contribute to the emergence of Nepal as a middle-income nation.

A distinctive feature of the event was the seamless interaction between US businesses and the Nepali diaspora and also among the young Nepali professionals. The speakers inspired each other with their accomplishments and inside perspectives. Participants also shared their views and raised questions during question-and-answer session, some of them related to opportunities for US goods to enter Nepal, and Nepal’s efforts in the promotion of Nepali products in America through trade delegation and mission.

The Acting Consul General addressed questions related to government policies and programmes. Some invitees expressed interest in participating in the third Investment Summit to be held in Nepal on 28-29 April 2024.


New York

15 February 2024