हिमाली स्वरहरु – Press Release:Embassy of Nepal,DC

Press Release:Embassy of Nepal,DC

admin April 16, 2011 0

Press Release
1.    A Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was singed  and exchanged between the Government of Nepal and the Government of the United States of America in Washington DC., today.

2.    The TIFA was signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for  Finance, Commerce and Supplies Honorable Mr. Bharat Mohan Adhikari, and Ambassador Mr. Ron Kirk, United States’ Trade Representative on behalf of their respective Governments.

3.    The TIFA replaces the Friendship and Commerce Agreement signed between Nepal and the United States on 25  April  1947, and further aims at  enhancing trade, investment and technical cooperation with a view to strengthening and deepening economic relations between Nepal and the United States. It also encourages and facilitates associations  among the enterprises and private sectors of two countries The TIFA further creates a mechanism for  dialogues on initiatives for expanding trade through enhanced cooperation and more comprehensive agreements. The TIFA mechanism also establishes a United States-Nepal Council  on Trade and Investment (TIFA Council) comprising representatives of each party. The main functions of the TIFA Council include monitoring trade and investment relations, identifying opportunities for expanding trade and investment, considering specific trade and investment matters and capacity building and technical assistance, trade facilitation measures for the enhancement of the bilateral trade, and also identifying and working to remove impediments to trade and investment, and seek advice of the private sector and civil society, where appropriate to the Council’s work. The Commerce Secretary of Government of Nepal and the Office of the US Trade Representative will chair the Council meeting from their respective governments. The Council shall meet once a year in Washington D.C and Kathmandu preferably on a rotational basis.

4.    During the signing ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Commerce and Supplies Honorable Mr. Bharat Mohan Adhikari expressed the hope that the TIFA agreement would go a long way in expanding bilateral trade and attracting US investments into Nepal.

5.    Mentioning it as a historical event, US Trade Representative Ambassador Kirk further highlighted the importance of TIFA in facilitating trade and investment relations between the two countries. Similarly, he added that this agreement will identify opportunities for expanding trade and investment, and identify relevant issues, such as those related to the protection of intellectual property rights that may be appropriate for negotiation in bilateral forums. Further, he mentioned that the trade and investment council will serve as a platform for taking up good action in way of deepening trade and investment relations of two countries.

6.    Recalling historic, cordial and longstanding relations between two countries, Ambassador Mr. Kirk appreciated present Government’s commitment toward completing the very important task of writing constitution and peace process. Reassuring continued support and assistance of the Government of Untied States, Ambassador Mr. Kirk further reiterated US Government’s best wishes for the present Government and expressed US Government’s commitment for any sort of support that the Government of Nepal under the leadership of Right Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Jhala Nath Khanal might seek from the US Government for consolidating peace, democracy and accelerating the pace of socio-economic development..

7.The signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency  Dr. Shankar Prasad. Sharma, Ambassador of Nepal to the United States, Mr. Purushottam Ojha, Secretary of Commerce and Supplies of Government of Nepal, Mr. Madhab Prasad Paudel, Secretary of Law and Justice, Mr. Govind Prasad Kusum, Secretary of Home Affairs,  Mr. Toyananarayan Gyawali, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies and other senior officials of the Embassy of Nepal to the United States, and other officials of the various departments of the US Government.

8. Following the signing ceremony, the First meeting of the TIFA Council was also  held at the Office of the US Trade Representative. The Council meeting had an overview of Nepal-US economic and trade relations. The USTR side made a presentation on the best practices of TIFA regimes in some successful countries which could be replicated in Nepal as the agreement is put into practice. The Nepalese side underlined the need for market access for the Nepalese products in the US markets, effective utilization of GSP facilities, US investment promotion in Nepal since Nepal has already opened 11 service sectors with 65 subsectors under WTO. The promotional activities through building a Nepal-US Business Working Group were also emphasized. The Council decided to hold its second meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal in second half of 2011. Mr. Purushottam OJha, Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies of Government of Nepal led the Nepalese delegation assisted by Mr. Madhav Paudel, Secretary of Ministry of Law and Justice, Mr. Toyanarayan Gyawali, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Supplies and the senior staff of the Nepalese Embassy in Washington D.C. The US side was led by Ambassador Marantis, Deputy United States Trade Representative accompanied by other senior officials of the USTR.

Embassy of Nepal
Washington D.C.
15 April 2011


Embassy of Nepal
2131 Leroy Place, NW
Washington DC- 20008

Press Release

Conference on Mainstreaming Disaster  Risk Reduction in Asia

1.    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Government of Nepal Honorable Mr. Bharat Mohan Adhikari addressed the Opening session of the Conference on Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia as a key note speaker jointly hosted by US State Department, USAID, the World Bank, the United Nations and the Embassy of Nepal in Washington D.C., today. The Conference had Four Parts: (i) An Opening Session, (ii) A High Level Luncheon Meeting, and (ii)  A High Level Panel Discussion, and (iv) A Roundtable..

2.    While addressing the opening session of the conference, Honorable Mr.  Adhikari extended Government of Nepal’s appreciation to the US Government, World Bank and United Nations for organizing such an important Conference to assist Nepal to face multiple hazards in the forms of earthquakes, landslides, flood, avalanche, glacial lake outburst and so on. He also expressed Government’s sincere commitment to building Nepal’s resilience to address the impending risks emanating from future disasters, and stated that the Government has embraced disaster risk reduction as an integral component of sustainable development and also accorded high priority to pre-disaster preparedness, rescue and relief operations.

3.    Honorable Mr. Adhikari further made commitment about Nepal’s readiness to work with the development partners, private sector and other stakeholders to manage future disaster risks.

4.    While making an opening statement, the USAID Administrator Mr. Rajiv Shah extended warm welcome to the Honorable Mr. Adhikari, member of his delegations and other distinguished participants and expressed US Government’s commitment to work shoulder to shoulder with the development partners and Government of Nepal to address the challenges of disasters in Nepal. Other speakers of the session included were Honorable  Alan Duncan, Minister of State for  International Development of the United Kingdom, Ms. Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, of the US Department of State, Ms. Isabel Guerrero, Vice President of the  World Bank, Mr. Xiaoyu Zhao, Vice President of the  Asian Development Bank, Dr. Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner, International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response of the , European Union, Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations, Mr. Masaya Fujiwara, Deputy Director General for International Development  Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.

5.    Following the Opening Session of the Conference, Honorable Mr. Adhikari also attended a high level working Luncheon meeting focused on Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium Donors’ Briefing organized by Honorbale  Alan Duncan, UK Minister of State for International Development.. The objectives of the luncheon briefing were to demonstrate the progress of five flagship programmes: (i)Hospital and School Safety, (ii) Emergency Preparedness,  (iii) Flood Management in Koshi River  Basin, (iv) Integrated   Community Based Disaster  Risk Reduction, and (v) Policy and Institutional Support  for Disaster Risk Management  of Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRCC) and to highlight opportunities for donors to support coherent and cost-effective action to reduce and manage disaster risk in Nepal. The luncheon briefing was  also attended by the representatives of Asian Development Bank, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,  the World Bank, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the United Nations Development Program,  and other senior officials of the Government of Nepal, among others.

6.    A high level panel discussion was held in during the Second half of the Conference where various aspects  of disaster management and  planning for the response. The panelists included were Dr. Govind Prasad Kusum, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Honorable Mr. Alan Duncan, Minister of State for International Development, UK Department for International Development, Dr. Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, and Crisis Response of the European Union, Mr. Robert O. Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, Indonesian Ambassador to the United Sates,, Honorable. Cayetano W. Paderanga, Jr,- Social Economic Planning Secretary,  National Economic and Development Authority of the Philippines,  Ms Nancy Lindgorg, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations Development Programme,, Mr. Vijay Jagannathan, Sector Manager (Infrastructure), East Asia and Pacific Region of the, World Bank, and Mr. R.K. Srivastava, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs of India.

7.    During the panel discussion, Dr. Kusum, Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs of Nepal further reiterated Government of Nepal’s commitment to deal with the disaster risks in an integrated fashion working together with the international community and the development partners.

8.    A the end of the Conference,  a roundtable meeting /discussion also was organized by the US Embassy in Kathmandu on the response planning of disasters involving civilian and military experts having extensive experiences and knowledge on the disaster response. The roundtable focused very much on on Nepal and was attended by His Excellency Mr. Mr. Scott H. DeLisi, US Ambassador to Nepal, UK’s DFID Minister Honorable Alan Duncan, UN Representative in Nepal Mr. Robert Piper, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Ms.Alyssa Ayres and other senior officials of the US Government, military, air force and marines as well as other officials and representatives from Government of India and UK, and civil society representatives.

9.    During the round table,  Mr. Shankar Koirala, Joint secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs of Nepal  gave a  presentation on Earthquake Risk and Response Planning in Nepal..  Home Secretary of Nepal Dr. Govind Prasad  Kusum answered the queries raised during the interaction and reiterated Government’s commitment to view disaster response as an integrated element of overall development.

Embassy of Nepal
Washington D.C.
April 15, 2011


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