Nepal Ambassador at CSULB


Uploaded by AMPCENTER on 27.09.2011

Transcript:
[ INAUDIBLE DISCUSSIONS ]
>> LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO WELCOME ALL OF YOU,
ESPECIALLY OUR HONORED GUEST,
HIS EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR SHANKAR SHARMA,
AMBASSADOR OF NEPAL TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
WELCOME TO OUR CAMPUS, CAL STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> I WILL GET TO AMBASSADOR'S INTRODUCTION IN A MINUTE
BUT LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO, YOU KNOW,
INTRODUCE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE AMBASSADOR, A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM AS WELL
AS CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH.
THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM IS ONE OF THE LARGEST--
PROBABLY THE LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY
WITH 23 DIFFERENT INDEPENDENT UNIVERSITIES THROUGHOUT THE
STATE FROM-- STARTING FROM HUMBLED UP NORTH
TO SAN DIEGO TO THE SOUTH.
IT IS SPREAD IN THE COASTLINE IN THE LOS ANGELES COAST
TO THE MOUNTAIN REGIONS.
SO, IT SERVES, AS I SAID, ALMOST HALF A MILLION, YOU KNOW,
STUDENTS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
AND CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH IS THE LARGEST CAMPUS
IN THE SYSTEM WITH ABOUT 35, 36--
THEY MIGHT CORRECT ME BECAUSE THE NUMBERS KEEP CHANGING.
AT A POINT, WE WERE ABOUT 36,000 STUDENTS ON THIS CAMPUS.
AND THERE ARE 8 DIFFERENT COLLEGES IN THIS UNIVERSITY.
IT'S A COMPREHENSIVE UNIVERSITY WITH OVER 300 DIFFERENT MAJORS
AND ONE OF THE COLLEGES THAT IS VERY UNIQUE IS THE COLLEGE
OF CONTINUING AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION,
ALSO HOME TO THE CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION.
COLLEGE OF CONTINUING
AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION IS CELEBRATING ITS 40TH YEAR
THIS YEAR.
SO, WE'VE BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR 40 YEARS WORKING WITH BUSINESS,
INDUSTRY, THE COMMUNITY
AND MOSTLY NON-- TRADITIONAL STUDENTS.
AND THE COLLEGE OF CONTINUING
AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION HAS ALWAYS HAD AN INTERNATIONAL
FOCUS BUT WITH CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION ADDED,
OUR REACH HAS REALLY REACHED TO-- GLOBALLY--
TO ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD.
AND INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION IS A PRIORITY
OF FOCUS OF THIS UNIVERSITY.
WE HAVE A COMMITMENT TO EDUCATE OUR STUDENTS
WITH INTERNATIONAL EXPOSURE, INTERNATIONAL CURRICULUM
AND INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.
SO, WE ARE COMMITTED TO THAT.
AND I MENTIONED THIS ESPECIALLY BECAUSE NEPAL HAS BEEN
FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS IN THE TOP 10 OF THE FOREIGN STUDENT--
ORIGIN OF FOREIGN STUDENTS IN THIS COUNTRY.
AS SMALL AS THE COUNTRY IS, IT IS SECOND TO INDIA
IN SOUTH ASIA REGION TO SEND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
TO THIS COUNTRY, SOME 12, 13,000 STUDENTS EVERY YEAR.
SO, IT IS QUITE SIGNIFICANT THAT, YOU KNOW,
WE HAVE THE AMBASSADOR FROM NEPAL PRESENT
IN OUR CAMPUS, YOU KNOW, TODAY.
AND TO THAT END, WE'VE JUST-- FOR YOUR BENEFIT,
YOUR EXCELLENCY, I WOULD LIKE TO SHOW YOU A SHORT VIDEO THAT KIND
OF CAPTURES THE UNIVERSITY.
IT IS INTENDED FOR RECRUITMENT TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
BUT ALL I DID TODAY WAS I HAD 10 MINUTES TO DRIVE HIM AROUND.
I WENT THROUGH ATHERTON AND THEN TO BEACH DRIVE
AND THEN CAME DOWN HERE.
SO, HE DOESN'T HAVE MUCH CHANCE TO SEE THE UNIVERSITY
BUT THERE ARE SOME PICTURES IN THIS VIDEO
THAT WILL GIVE YOU A SENSE OF THE UNIVERSITY.
SO, LET'S ROLL THEN VIDEO AND THEN AFTER THAT,
WE'LL GET ON THE PROGRAM.
[ MUSIC ]
[ BACKGROUND MUSIC ]
>> COOL OCEAN BREEZES, BEAUTIFUL SUNNY SKIES,
A COASTAL CITY KNOWN FOR ITS SEAPORT,
TOURISM AND ENTERTAINMENT.
A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN CAMPUS KNOWN FOR ITS DIVERSE, FRIENDLY
AND SCHOLARLY STUDENTS.
A CITY CALLED LONG BEACH AND A CAMPUS NAMED,
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH, HOME TO 35,000 STUDENTS.
[ BACKGROUND MUSIC ]
>> CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH IS AMONG THE BEST
UNIVERSITIES IN AMERICA.
WE'RE PROUD OF OUR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE.
WE'RE ALSO VERY PROUD
OF OUR AWARD-WINNING SCHOLASTIC SUCCESSES THAT WE'VE HAD
WITHIN EACH OF OUR 8 ACADEMIC COLLEGES ON CAMPUS.
OUR SUPERB FACULTY MEMBERS ASSISTED
BY OUR SUPPORTIVE STAFF ARE FACILITATING HIGHER LEARNING
AT AN EXCEPTIONAL LEVEL ON ALL ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES.
THE UNIVERSITY IS CLOSE TO THE EXCITEMENT
OF LOS ANGELES AND HOLLYWOOD.
BUT IT'S MUCH LESS CROWDED AND MUCH MORE RELAXED
THAN LOS ANGELES BECAUSE IT'S LOCATED IN LONG BEACH.
>> CHOOSING A UNIVERSITY ESPECIALLY OVERSEAS IS NOT AN
EASY JOB.
SO, I DID A LOT OF HOMEWORK ON FINDING THIS PLACE AND IT TURNED
OUT TO BE ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING PLACES EVER.
>> THE REASON WHY I DECIDED TO SETTLE
IN CAL STATE LONG BEACH IS
BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS VERY WELL KNOWN NOT ONLY NATIONALLY,
BUT ALSO INTERNATIONALLY.
>> CAL STATE LONG BEACH IS VERY SAFE FOR STUDENTS.
IN FACT, IT'S ONE OF THE TOP 3 SAFEST CAMPUSES
IN THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES.
IT'S EASY FOR STUDENTS TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS AND HAVE LOTS OF FUN
ON CAMPUS, OR OFF CAMPUS WHILE EXPLORING THE AQUARIUM,
THE QUEEN MARY, THE SHORELINE VILLAGE AND THE NEW PIKE.
>> AND LONG BEACH IS THE CENTER OF SO MANY THINGS.
YOU HAVE UNIVERSAL CLOSE BY.
YOU HAVE DISNEYLAND CLOSE BY.
THERE'RE SO MANY THINGS AROUND.
IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO BE IN.
[ BACKGROUND MUSIC ]
>> CAL STATE LONG BEACH IS A TERRIFIC PLACE
FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS.
THE CLASSES, THE LABORATORIES, THE TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES
AND THE HOUSING FACILITIES ARE EXCELLENT.
>> I LOVE THE CAMPUS, SO HUGE CAMPUS, A VARIETY OF PROGRAMS,
THE PEOPLE HERE, THEY ARE SO NICE.
SO, IT WAS LIKE OVERWHELMING.
>> LONG BEACH WEBSITE LOOKS SO ORGANIZED.
SO, I THOUGHT, "YEAH,
THAT SCHOOL MIGHT BE VERY GOOD FOR ME."
SO, I CHOSE THAT.
>> CSU LONG BEACH IS ONE
OF THE MOST POPULAR COLLEGES IN LOS ANGELES AREA.
SO, I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS CAMPUS.
[ BACKGROUND MUSIC ]
>> OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM,
THE BEACH LIFESTYLE ALONG THE COAST IS WONDERFUL.
AND THE WEATHER IS GREAT YEAR ROUND.
>> IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER WHAT TIME OF THE YEAR IT IS
BECAUSE IT'S ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL AND SUNNY.
>> THERE ARE 350 CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS FOR STUDENTS.
THESE CLUBS INCLUDE SPORTS, RECREATIONAL, ACADEMIC, CULTURAL
AND LEISURE TIME ACTIVITIES.
>> I WAS IN ACCOUNTING SOCIETY AND MANY OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AD
THROUGH THAT, I MADE A LOT OF FRIENDS.
[ BACKGROUND MUSIC ]
>> CAL STATE LONG BEACH IS A GREAT PLACE
TO OBTAIN AN ACADEMIC DEGREE IN ONE OF 87 BACHELOR'S PROGRAMS
OR 67 MASTER'S PROGRAMS.
IT'S ALSO THE BEST PLACE FOR PROGRAMS
IN ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.
AND IT'S A FANTASTIC PLACE
TO EARN COURSE CREDIT WHILE STUDYING ABROAD.
CERTAINLY, IT'S THE BEST PLACE TO LEARN ABOUT LIFE AND CULTURE
IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
>> OUR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
AT CAL STATE LONG BEACH ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO US.
WE TAKE SPECIAL CARE TO HELP THESE STUDENTS MORE EASILY MAKE
THE TRANSITION TO A NEW COUNTRY, A NEW ENVIRONMENT
AND A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CULTURE.
WHETHER THEY ARE HERE FOR THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE INSTITUTE
PROGRAMS, THE STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS
OR THE REGULAR ACADEMIC DEGREE PROGRAMS, THE FACULTY
AND STAFF WILL ENSURE THAT THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE FULLY
ENGAGED IN LEARNING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE WHILE MAKING PROGRESS
IN THEIR COURSES AND STUDIES.
[ BACKGROUND MUSIC ]
>> CAL STATE LONG BEACH IS ONE
OF THE MOST POPULAR CAMPUSES IN CALIFORNIA.
THE QUALITY OF THE ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
AND THE EXCELLENT CAMPUS LIFE MAKE IT THE TOP PLACE
TO STUDY, LEARN AND LIVE.
WE'D LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO JOIN US.
CONTACT THE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW
TO APPLY FOR ADMISSION.
[ MUSIC ]
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> THANK YOU.
AND THAT VIDEO WAS MADE IN-HOUSE BY OUR ADVANCE MEDIA PRODUCTION
AND THE DIRECTOR DAVE KELLY IS IN THE AUDIENCE.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> AND YOU MIGHT HAVE NOTICED THAT, YOU KNOW,
WE CHOSE STUDENTS TO GIVE THE TESTIMONY
FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD.
THESE ARE OUR REAL STUDENTS ON CAMPUS.
I JUST DON'T KNOW WHO THAT SECOND GUY WAS TALKING
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> BUT HE HAD A GOOD SELL SPEECH.
I KNOW. ANYWAY, BEFORE I GO ON TO-- [NOISE] ALRIGHT, MICROSOFT.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> BEFORE I GO ON TO INTRODUCE THE AMBASSADOR,
AND YOU SAW OUR PRESIDENT KING ALEXANDER
WHO DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE BEEN HERE.
HE SENT ME A NOTE SAYING THAT HE IS
IN A MEETING IN ANOTHER STATE.
AND OUR PROVOST, DON PARA IS
ON A VACATION TAKING SOME MUCH NEEDED TIME OFF BACK
TO HIS ROOTS IN MICHIGAN.
BUT I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE SOME OF THE STAFF
FROM THE ADMINISTRATION-- YOU KNOW, HIGHER ADMINISTRATION
AT THE UNIVERSITY WHO ARE PRESENT HERE TODAY.
>> MARY STEPHENS, OUR VICE PRESIDENT FOR ADMINISTRATION
AND FINANCE THIS YEAR.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> DR. DAVID DOWELL, VICE PROVOST FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> WHO IS ALSO THE DIRECTOR OF OUR STRATEGIC PLANNING.
CECILE LINDSAY, DR. LINDSAY IS VICE PROVOST
FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> ALSO, DEAN OF THE GRADUATE STUDIES.
OMER BENLI, ASSOCIATE DEAN OF THE COLLEGE
OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> AND THERE ARE A NUMBER OF STAFF
FROM MY COLLEGE, YOU KNOW, HERE.
DEANS AND DIRECTORS GROUP ARE ALSO PRESENT AT THE UNIVERSITY.
DID I MISS ANYONE?
AND ALSO, I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME THE MEMBERS
OF THE NEPALI DIASPORA IN THE GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA
WHO ARE WELL REPRESENTED, YOU KNOW, IN HERE.
LET ME TAKE A FEW MOMENT TO INTRODUCE HIS EXCELLENCY,
DR. SHARMA, WHO IS THE AMBASSADOR OF NEPAL
TO THE UNITED STATES, WHO HAS EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE
IN GOVERNMENT, INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH.
HE WAS VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION
IN NEPAL FROM 2002 TO 2006.
BEFORE JOINING THE NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION,
WHICH IS AS DR. SHARMA WAS EXPLAINING EARLIER
IN THE CHAMBER MEETING THAT, IT HAS, YOU KNOW, DIFFERENT,
YOU KNOW, NAME, A LITTLE OUTDATED NAME.
BUT IT IS THE HIGHEST PLANNING COMMISSION WE ADVISORS DEVICE
THIS PLAN FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL.
BEFORE JOINING THE COMMISSION IN 1997,
HE WORKED AS A SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISOR AT THE MINISTRY
OF FINANCE, AS A SENIOR ECONOMIST IN THE INSTITUTE
OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES IN SINGAPORE AND A FELLOW
AT THE EAST-WEST CENTER IN HAWAII.
HE WAS ALSO A PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS IN THE CENTER
FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATION
AT THE TRIBHUVAN UNIVERSITY,
NEPAL'S NATIONAL UNIVERSITY AND THE LARGEST ONE.
IN HIS LONG AND DISTINGUISHED CAREER WITH THE GOVERNMENT
OF NEPAL, AMBASSADOR SHARMA HAD EXTENSIVE DEALINGS
WITH HIGH LEVEL, SENIOR LEVEL DONOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES, NGOS, AND THE CORPORATE SECTOR
IN POLICY DIALOG, FOREIGN AID, PEACE BUILDING
AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY.
AMBASSADOR SHARMA'S OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS INCLUDE
AS A MEMBER WITH THE WORLD ENERGY COUNCIL COMMITTEE
FOR ENERGY ISSUES OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN LONDON,
AND SERVING ON THE ADVISORY PANEL OF THE MDG ASSESSMENT
OF THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION, UNESCAP IN BANGKOK.
HE CONTRIBUTED TOWARDS AN ASSESSMENT
OF ASIAN LEAST DEVELOPMENT COUNTRIES IN THE CONTEXT
OF BRUSSELS LDC PLANS OF ACTION AND A REPORT
ON GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
TO FISCAL POLICY IN ASIA PACIFIC REGION FOR UNESCAP.
HE HAS HANDS ON EXPERIENCE AT THE FIELD LEVEL
AS AN INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT IN LAOS, IN BHUTAN, AND INDIA.
HE ALSO WORKED AS A CONSULTANT EXPERT IN A NUMBER OF NATIONAL
AND INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES INCLUDING THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT
BANK, THE WORLD BANK, AND UNDP.
DR. SHARMA HAS PUBLISHED 8 BOOKS INCLUDING SOME EDITED ONES
AND HAD AUTHORED MORE THAN 50 ARTICLES ON THE ECONOMY,
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE ASIA PACIFIC REGION.
FOR 7 YEARS, AMBASSADOR SHARMA WAS ALSO AN EDITOR
TO ASEAN ECONOMIC BULLETIN AND CONSULTANT EDITOR
TO HYDROCARBON ASIA, BOTH PUBLISHED FROM SINGAPORE.
INTERVIEWS TAKEN WITH HIM HAD APPEARED
IN THE INTERNATIONAL NEWSPAPERS
AND MAGAZINES INCLUDING ASIAWEEK,
INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, STRAITS TIMES, BUSINESS TIMES,
SINGAPORE AND MALAYSIA BOTH, NEW STRAITS TIMES, BANGKOK POST,
FORBES, THE PEN TIMES AND OUR OWN, LOS ANGELES TIMES,
AND ALMOST ALL OF THE NEWSPAPERS
AND MAGAZINES PUBLISHED FROM NEPAL.
DR. SHARMA EARNED HIS PHD IN ECONOMICS FROM THE UNIVERSITY
OF HAWAII AND IS THE IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
OF THE EAST-WEST CENTER ASSOCIATION OF NEPAL.
TODAY, AMBASSADOR SHARMA IS ACCOMPANIED BY HIS WIFE
AND DAUGHTER, SILPA IN THE AUDIENCE.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LET'S GIVE A BIG HAND
TO HIS EXCELLENCY, AMBASSADOR SHARMA.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
THANK YOU, DR. JOSHEE FOR A VERY KIND INTRODUCTION.
AND THEN IT'S QUITE LONG, I GUESS.
ALTHOUGH I WORK IN GOVERNMENT AND I WAS CONSULTANT
IN A NUMBER OF-- OR [INAUDIBLE] IN MY PREVIOUS INCARNATION
BUT I THINK THESE DAYS I'M WORKING AS AN AMBASSADOR HERE
AND TRYING TO CONCENTRATE ON WHAT I CAN ACHIEVE
AS AN AMBASSADOR IN WASHINGTON DC IN THE UNITED STATES.
I'M REALLY-- I'M ALSO REALLY IMPRESSED WITH THE VIDEO
THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN US.
I HOPE I COULD APPLY BUT THIS IS VERY LATE FOR ME.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> THE REASON I WENT TO HAWAII LONG TIME AGO IS THAT I APPLIED
IN THE-- YOU KNOW, THAT IS A FULBRIGHT, EAST-WEST CENTER
AND HUBERT HUMPHREY IS ALL MANAGED
BY USA EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION IN NEPAL.
I APPLIED IN FULBRIGHT BUT THEY SELECTED ME
IN THE EAST-WEST CENTER SAYING
THAT BECAUSE I WAS A SCIENCE STUDENT,
USUALLY SCIENCE STUDENTS, THEY'LL HAVE A HIGHER PERCENTAGE
IN THEIR BACHELOR'S AND MASTER'S LEVEL.
SO, THEY SAID, "YOU HAVE A HIGHER PERCENTAGE,
YOU'LL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF GETTING SELECTED
IN THE REGIONAL COMPETITION IN HAWAII
BECAUSE FULBRIGHTERS GET IN THERE.
EAST-WEST CENTER, YOU HAVE TO AGAIN COMPETE
WITH THE OTHER COUNTRIES AND THEN YOU HAVE A BETTER SCORE,
HIGHER SCORE, THEN YOU'LL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE
OF GETTING SELECTED.
SO, THAT'S HOW I GOT IT AND THEN I GO
OUT TO SCHOLARSHIP FOR FULL FIVE YEARS.
SO, I THINK THAT WAS-- I WAS PRIVILEGED TO HAVE THAT ONE.
BUT ANYWAY, THAT WAS A VERY IMPRESSIVE VIDEO
AND CAMPUS IS VERY IMPRESSIVE, HUGE.
THIS IS MY FIRST TIME
TO THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY LONG BEACH
AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ORGANIZING THIS PROGRAM.
I'M REALLY PLEASED AND THIS IS MY REALLY HONOR AND PRIVILEGE
TO COME HERE AND SPEAK ABOUT NEPAL-US RELATION
AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN NEPAL.
MANY OF YOU PROBABLY KNOW NEPAL IS THE SHAPE AND SIZE
OF TENNESSEE BUT WE HAVE A BIG POPULATION, 29 MILLION AND TALKS
OF DIVERSITY, THERE ARE MORE THAN A HUNDRED LANGUAGES
AND THEN STATISTICS AND CENSUS SHOW THAT THERE ARE MORE
THAN HUNDRED ETHNIC DIFFERENT LANGUAGES IN THE COUNTRY,
MANY ETHNIC GROUPS BUT SMALLER GROUPS.
I THINK WE DON'T HAVE ONE DOMINATING ETHNIC GROUP
IN NEPAL.
SO, I THINK THAT IS ONE ADVANTAGE
BUT THERE ARE STILL ISSUES BEING RAISED OF THE ETHNICITY
AND DIVERSITY IN NEPAL, SOMETIMES FOR GOOD AND SOMETIMES
FOR THE DIFFERENT POLITICAL REASONS.
US-NEPAL RELATION, BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO BE BRIEF
AND THEN PROBABLY WE CAN HAVE MORE DIALOGUE
AND QUESTION-ANSWERS AT THE END UP PROGRAM.
I DON'T WANT TO GO INTO DETAILS BUT NEPAL'S DIPLOMATIC RELATION
WITH US WAS DONE IN 1947.
I THINK IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO.
AND THE SECOND POINT ABOUT NEPAL-US RELATION IS THAT THIS--
NEPAL IS THE FIRST COUNTRY
WHERE USAID ESTABLISHED CORPORATION MISSION
IN THE WORLD.
I THINK THIS IS VERY SIGNIFICANT.
SO, WE ARE CELEBRATING--
THE USAID IS CELEBRATING 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS--
IN ASSOCIATION OF THE PROGRAM IN NEPAL.
I THINK THIS IS VERY SIGNIFICANT.
PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS PROGRAM STARTED IMMEDIATELY
AFTER THE INITIATION
OF THE PEACE CORPS PROGRAM IN THE UNITED STATES.
THAT WAS STARTED IN NEPAL IN 1962.
WE BENEFITTED A LOT OUT OF THE PEACE CORPS PROGRAM.
IT WAS SUSPENDED IN 2004 BECAUSE OF THE SECURITY PROBLEM,
NOW IS BEING AGAIN IN THE PROCESS OF REDEMPTION.
RESIDENTIAL EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON DC STARTED IN 1958.
WE HAVE BENEFITTED A LOT FROM US ASSISTANCE TO NEPAL,
TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE HIGH-LEVEL BILATERAL VISITS.
I THINK THERE HAS BEEN QUITE A FEW BILATERAL VISITS
BY HIGH-LEVEL DIGNITARIES FROM NEPAL TO THE UNITED--
FROM NEPAL AND ALSO HIGH-LEVEL DIGNITARIES
FROM THE UNITED STATES TO NEPAL INCLUDING SECRETARY HILLARY
CLINTON BUT WHEN SHE WAS THE FIRST LADY A FEW YEARS AGO
AND ALSO THE-- COLLIN POWELL,
SECRETARY OF STATE A LONG TIME AGO.
WE ARE TRYING TO SEE IF WE CAN BRING SOME
OF THE HIGH-LEVEL PEOPLE IN NEPAL BUT NOW,
NEPAL IS IN THE PROCESS OF FINALIZING THE PEACE PROCESS
AND WE ARE TRYING TO FINALIZE THE CONSTITUTION.
NEW CONSTITUTION OF NEPAL SO I THINK WE'LL SEE WHAT WE CAN DO.
NOW, COMING BACK TO THE LINKAGES BETWEEN NEPAL
AND THE UNITED STATES, THERE ARE REALLY STRONG LINKAGES
EVEN TODAY.
BEING FAR APART UNITED STATES AND NEPAL, NOW,
I THINK WHAT TIME IT IS HERE, 5 O'CLOCK BUT IS 5 O'CLOCK
IN THE MORNING IN NEPAL APPROXIMATELY, I DON'T KNOW,
MAYBE IT'S 4 OR 6 WHATEVER IT IS.
>> SO BEING SO FAR APART, IF WE SEE THE TRADE BETWEEN NEPAL
AND US, YES, EVERYBODY WOULD
LIKE TO EXPORT TO THE UNITED STATES.
NEPAL'S SECOND EXPORT DESTINATION IS STILL THE UNITED
STATES, ALTHOUGH DISTANT SECOND FROM INDIA BECAUSE OF--
NATURAL ECONOMIC PARTNER IS INDIA
BECAUSE WE HAVE OPEN BORDER BETWEEN INDIA AND NEPAL.
NEPAL IS SITUATED BETWEEN 2 LARGE COUNTRIES,
INDIA AND CHINA, SO WE HAVE SOME KIND
OF NATURAL ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INDIA AND NEPAL
BUT AFTER THAT, THE SECOND EXPORT DESTINATION HAS BEEN THE
UNITED STATES, ALTHOUGH IT HAS DECLINED SIGNIFICANTLY.
US USED TO TAKE A SHARE OF ABOUT 25 PERCENT
OF NEPAL'S EXPORT A FEW YEARS AGO UNTIL 2004-05
BUT IT HAS DECLINED TO ABOUT 7.5 PERCENT NOW
BECAUSE OF THE DECLINE
IN GARMENT EXPORTS FROM NEPAL TO THE US.
THE REASON IS THE TERMINATION OF MULTIFIBER AGREEMENT.
BEFORE THAT, WE USE TO GET DUTY FREE, QUOTA FREE STATUS IN US
AND NOW ONE HAS TO COMPETE TO EXPORT TO US, SO NEPAL,
BEING A LANDLOCKED COUNTRY, WE--
I THINK IS PROBABLY WE DON'T HAVE THE STRONG COMPETITIVE
ADVANTAGE IN THE GARMENT INDUSTRY IN THE COUNTRY.
BUT ANYWAY, I THINK STILL THE NUMBER IS QUITE IMPRESSIVE.
IN TALKING ABOUT INVESTMENT IN NEPAL BECAUSE WE ALSO WOULD
LIKE TO PROMOTE FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN NEPAL.
USA IS AMONG THE TOP 3.
AGAIN, NUMBER 1 IS INDIA.
US USED TO BE NUMBER 2 BUT NOW, CHINA HAS TAKEN OVER
BUT STILL US IS NUMBER 3 IN THE TOTAL INVESTMENT IN THE COUNTRY
FOR FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT.
THE TOTAL INVESTMENT IS NOT THAT BIG AS CLOSE TO 200
TO 250 MILLION US DOLLARS BUT WE'D
LIKE TO SEE MORE INVESTMENT COMING
FROM THE UNITED STATES TO NEPAL.
MAJOR EXPORT ITEMS TO US, NUMBER 1 IS HAND MADE WOOLEN CARPETS,
PASHMINA ITEMS, YOU KNOW, THE PASHMINA IS JUST LIKE CASHMERE
BUT WE HAVE OUR BRAND NAME AND WE HAVE OUR OWN.
ONE TYPE OF WEAVING, THIS CHANGRA PASHMINA,
AND ALSO SOME GARMENT AS OF NOW BUT IT HAS DECLINED.
THOSE DIED IN RECENT YEARS, CIVIL JEWELRY AND HANDICRAFTS
AND NUMBER OF OTHER THINGS.
WE ARE-- I THINK THERE'S AGAIN--
I GIVE EXAMPLE TO THE NEPALIS COMMUNITY HERE
THAT WHY DON'T YOU START IMPORTING FROM NEPAL SOME
OF THE ESSENTIAL ITEMS THAT IS DEMANDED
BY THE NEPALIS COMMUNITY
AND PROBABLY THE SOUTHEASTERN COMMUNITIES.
SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN BALTIMORE AND SAN FRANCISCO,
THEY HAVE STARTED DOING THAT.
THEY HAVE BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL THAT'S WHAT I HEARD.
I HEARD THAT THE PRICE IS SLIGHTLY AT A HIGHER LEVEL
BUT THERE IS SO MUCH DEMAND OF THESE STUFF
THAT THEY HAVE STARTED I THINK MAKING PROFIT
AND STARTED DOING-- OPENING BRANCHES IN OTHER PLACES,
SO I THINK THAT'S HOW WE CAN PROBABLY START
AND THERE A NUMBER OF OTHER OPPORTUNITIES
FOR TRADE IN THE COUNTRY.
TOURISM, US OCCUPIES THE SECOND POSITION IN NEPAL
IN SENDING TOURIST IN THE COUNTRY BY AIR BECAUSE BY LAND,
WE-- BY AIR, ALSO INDIA IS THE LARGEST ONE.
CHINA, IF WE TAKE BY AIR AND BY LAND IS STILL NUMBER 2,
BUT IF YOU TAKE BY AIR, INDIA, AFTER INDIA IS US.
IT USED TO BE UNITED KINGDOM UNTIL 2009 BUT US HAS TAKEN
OVER IN 2010 MEANING THAT NEPAL HAS BECOME VERY POPULAR
TO THE US CITIZENS IN TERMS OF THE TRAVEL DESTINATION.
I THINK THIS IS VERY GOOD.
IN 2010, ABOUT 33,200 AMERICANS VISITED NEPAL.
CNN HAS LISTED NEPAL AS THE BEST TRAVEL DESTINATION FOR--
ADVENTUROUS TRAVEL DESTINATION FOR 2011.
SO WE ARE REALLY VERY, VERY HAPPY AND THEN I--
BECAUSE I HAVE TO TALK WITH THE GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES HERE ALL
THE TIME AND THEN I GIVE EXAMPLES
FROM ALL THESE NUMBERS SAYING THAT HOW--
LOOK, HOW POPULAR NEPAL IS FROM THE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE
AND EVERYBODY WOULD LIKE TO GO TO NEPAL.
AMERICAN ASSISTANCE TO NEPAL IS ALSO INCREASING DESPITE THE
PROBLEMS IN THE UNITED STATES OF DEBT PROBLEM, DEFICIT PROBLEM,
NEPAL HAS BEEN SELECTED AS A FOCUS COUNTRY
IN FEED THE FUTURE PROGRAM AFTER THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION,
GLOBAL HEALTH INITIATIVE AND ALSO THE CLIMATE CHANGE.
BECAUSE OF SOME OF THESE NEW PROGRAMS, NEPAL'S ASSIST--
AMERICAN ASSISTANCE TO NEPAL IS SUPPOSED TO GO
UP BY ALMOST 100 PERCENT WITHIN 3 YEARS' TIME BUT WE STILL HAVE
TO SEE HOW MUCH WE'LL GET INTO [INAUDIBLE]
BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT HAS ALREADY SUBMITTED THE BUDGET.
WE HAVE SEEN SIGNIFICANT INCREASE FROM NEPAL
BUT IT AGAIN HAS TO BE DEVISED
AND THEN HOPEFULLY THE CONGRESS WILL NOT CHANGE ON IT,
ESPECIALLY IN NEPAL WHERE THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS
THAT WILL GO BETWEEN NOW AND BEFORE PASSING THIS BILL.
AS DR. JOSHEE WAS MENTIONING, NEPAL PROBABLY AT THIS POINT
OF TIME, UNTIL LAST YEAR, IT USED TO BE 11TH POSITION,
BUT NOW PROBABLY IS 10TH POSITION
IN SENDING THE STUDENTS--
FOREIGNER STUDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES.
SO-- BUT THERE'S A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY.
NEPALIS WOULD LIKE TO COME AND STUDY HERE.
DESPITE LOW PER CAPITA INCOME OF NEPAL, US HAS BECOME ONE
OF THE VERY ATTRACTIVE--
I'LL SAY THE MOST THE MOST ATTRACTIVE DESTINATION
FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, SO THERE'S A LOT OF POTENTIAL
OF BRINGING NEPALIS STUDENTS TO THE UNITED STATES,
SO I THINK WE HAVE DONE VERY GOOD IN THIS AREA.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEW INITIATIVES THAT HAVE BEEN
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND NEPAL?
WE HAVE SIGNED NEPAL-- NEPAL HAS SIGNED AN AGREEMENT CALLED TRADE
AND INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT BETWEEN NEPAL AND US,
WITH THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME NEPAL HAS DONE ANY TRADE
AND INVESTMENT AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES, SO THIS MEANS
THAT THERE WILL BE A PERMANENT COUNCIL
OF THE OFFICIALS COMPRISING FROM NEPAL AND THE UNITED STATES
AND THIS COUNCIL WILL MEET EVERY YEAR, AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR
AND THEN IDENTIFY THE CONSTRAINTS AND IMPEDIMENTS
IN INCREASING THE MARKET EXCESS
AND INCREASING INVESTMENT ESPECIALLY IN NEPAL
AND SEE HOW THOSE IMPEDIMENTS CAN BE ADDRESSED
AT THE GOVERNMENT LEVEL.
SIMILARLY, WE ARE TRYING TO SEE
IF WE CAN HAVE A PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESS FORUM BETWEEN NEPAL
AND US SO THAT THIS FORUM CAN PROVIDE THE FEEDBACK
TO THE COUNCIL THAT HAS BEEN MADE BY--
AT THE GOVERNMENT LEVEL BY THE US GOVERNMENT AND NEPAL,
SO THIS IS VERY SIGNIFICANT.
AND THE SECOND IS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO INITIATE
AND ESTABLISH NEPAL CONGRESSIONAL CAUCUS.
THIS IS ALSO AGAIN FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY IN THE HOUSE
SO THAT WE CAN MOBILIZE THE POLITICAL PEOPLE
AT THE POLITICAL LEVEL.
IT HAS 2 MAJOR OBJECTIVES, TO STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN NEPAL AND THE UNITED STATES AND THE SECOND IS
TO JUST SEND A VOICE OF NEPALI DIASPORA HERE
IN THE UNITED STATES THROUGH THEIR REPRESENTATIVES
IN THE HOUSE AND LEGISLATIVE BODY.
SO I'M ENCOURAGING ALL OF THE NEPALI DIASPORA COMMUNITY
TO HAVE SOME KIND OF CONTACT
WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE CONSTITUENCY, CONGRESSMAN
AND OTHER POLITICAL LEADERS SO THAT THEIR VOICES ARE HEARD
AND ADDRESSED TO A CERTAIN LEVEL AT THE POLITICAL LEVEL
BUT THAT WILL ALSO HAVE VERY SIGNIFICANT IMPORTANCE
IN STRENGTHENING THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN NEPAL AND US.
IT WAS REGISTERED OFFICIALLY IN FEBRUARY 2011
AND THEN WE WERE ABLE TO--
ACTUALLY THESE TWO CO-CHAIRS WERE ABLE
TO OFFICIALLY LAUNCH IT ON-- JUST LAST WEEK, JULY 13
AND ABOUT 10 CONGRESSMEN DESIGNED,
THEY SIGNED AS A MEMBER OF THE CAUCUS.
WE'D LIKE TO SEE MORE CONGRESSMEN COMING
AND JOINING THE NEPAL CAUCUS IN THE FUTURE.
AS I MENTIONED BEFORE, THE PEACE CORPS PROGRAM WAS SUSPENDED
IN 2004 BECAUSE OF THE SECURITY PROBLEM.
IN NEPAL, WE USED TO HAVE MAOIST PROBLEM BETWEEN 1996 AND 2006
BUT AFTER THE AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT, THE MAOIST PARTY,
THEY HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE PEACE PROCESS, PARTICIPATED
IN THE ELECTION SO THEY ARE THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT NOW,
THEY ARE PART OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY
AND THEN THEY HAVE COME TO THE MAINSTREAM,
SO THIS IS THE TIME WE START INITIATING THE TRADING
ACTIVITIES, INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
IN NEPAL SO THIS IS A GOOD TIME.
SO WE TALKED THAT THIS IS ALSO THE TIME WE CAN BRING BACK THE
PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS PROGRAM IN NEPAL SO IT HAS BEEN AGREED
THAT THE PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER PROGRAM WILL START THE PROCESS.
THEY HAVE ALREADY STARTED SENDING--
THEY HAVE ACTUALLY ALREADY SENT ASSESSMENT TEAM IN NEPAL.
THE ASSESSMENT TEAM PROBABLY IS ALREADY BACK HERE,
SO THEY WILL SUBMIT THE REPORT
AND AFTER SUBMITTING THE REPORT--
>> IT'S STILL A LONG PROCESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE
TO START THE OFFICE IN NEPAL INITIATE THE PROGRAM,
ALLOCATE THE BUDGET--
BUT ANYWAY, THE PROCESS HAD STARTED THIS IS ALSO SOMETHING
GOOD THAT HAS BEEN OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS.
US CHEF DE MISSION HAS VISITED NEPAL
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 13 YEARS.
THIS TIME I THINK WHAT WE THOUGHT IS
THAT THE AMERICAN INVESTORS WHO HAVE INVESTED
IN SOUTH ASIA ESPECIALLY IN INDIA WILL TAKE THEM TO NEPAL.
THE REASON IS THAT THEY KNOW--
THE REASON, THEY KNOW WHAT CAN BE DONE IN NEPAL,
SO WE ENCOURAGE THESE PEOPLE TO GO TO NEPAL.
AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO NEPAL VISITED INDIA,
ENCOURAGED THESE PEOPLE TO GO TO NEPAL,
SO I THINK THIS HAS HAPPENED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 13 YEARS.
US IS ALSO LEADING THE DISASTER RISK REDUCTION,
IMPLEMENTED SOME STRATEGY IN NEPAL.
YOU KNOW, I THINK KATHMANDU IS
IN A EARTHQUAKE ZONE, SEISMIC ZONE.
CALIFORNIA IS ALSO I GUESS, BUT OUR HOUSING SYSTEM
AND MONITORING SYSTEM HAS NOT BEEN VERY GOOD SO THERE'S A KIND
OF PREDICTION THAT IF ANYTHING HAPPENS IN NEPAL,
BIG SCALE EARTHQUAKE, IT WILL BE A DISASTER IN THE COUNTRY
SO MAYBE WE MAY NOT HAVE THAT STRONG HOSPITALS, OPEN SPACE,
THE AIRPORTS AND THEN WHAT DO WE DO.
BECAUSE IT IS A MOUNTAIN REGION, IF THE HIGHWAYS,
WE HAVE THE LANDSLIDE AND PROBLEM, WHAT DO WE DO NEXT.
SO I THINK, US IS TAKING THE LEAD IN THIS AREA.
WE ARE ALSO DOING A NUMBER OF TOURISM ACTIVITIES
IN THE COUNTRY SO I THINK IN A NUTSHELL, MY FEELING IS
THAT NEPAL-US RELATION PROBABLY HAD NEVER BEEN THIS STRONGER
BEFORE THAN WHAT IT IS TODAY AND THEN WE NEED
TO MAKE IT MORE STRONGER IN THE FUTURE.
THE SECOND ASPECT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES
IN NEPAL, NEPAL IS A VERY LIBERAL COUNTRY.
IN SOUTH ASIA ACTUALLY,
SRI LANKA STARTED LIBERALIZING THE ECONOMY ALONG TIME AGO
BECAUSE SRI LANKA THINKS THAT THEY WILL BENEFIT
OUT OF LIBERALIZING THE ECONOMY.
INDIA STARTED VERY LATE.
NEPAL STARTED EARLY, EARLY 1990'S,
SO WE STARTED MARKET-ORIENTED LIBERAL ECONOMY LONG,
LONG TIME AGO BEGINNING OF 1990'S.
THAT BENEFITED A LOT TO THE COUNTRY BUT AGAIN,
I THINK WE WERE HAVING PROBLEMS OF THE CONFLICTS, CIVIL WAR
AND THEN AGAIN, WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE HOW WE CAN ACCELERATE THE
DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES OF THE COUNTRY.
NEPAL'S TRADE-GDP RATIO IS ABOUT 47 PERCENT,
SO IT SHOWS THAT IT IS QUITE OPEN.
TARIFF RATE ON AN AVERAGE IS ABOUT 10 PERCENT
WHICH IS AGAIN CONSIDERED AS ONE OF THE MOST LIBERAL COUNTRIES.
NO RESTRICTIONS ON OWNERSHIP AND REPATRIATIONS OF THE INVESTMENT
AS WELL AS THE DIVIDEND AND THE PROFIT.
TAX RATES ARE QUITE LOW.
IT'S-- IN THE SERVICE AND MANUFACTURING SECTORS,
IT'S ONLY 20 TO 25 PERCENT RANGE.
AT PRESENT, FROM 2006 TO 2010, IF WE SEE THE NUMBERS,
THE PRIVATE SECTORS KEEP THE FORMATION OR THE INVESTMENT
AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP IS IN AN INCREASING TREND,
ALTHOUGH WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS ONE IN THE ACCELERATED PACE
BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN SO BUT ITS IN AN INCREASING TREND.
WE CAN-- WE ARE ALSO THINKING THAT WE CAN TAKE BENEFITS
OUT OF STRATEGIC LOCATION.
NEPAL IS SITUATED BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA.
THEY ARE GROWING AT A RATE OF INDIA, CLOSE TO 10 PERCENT
AND CHINA DOUBLE DIGIT FOR THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES SO WE--
AND THEN POPULATION OF 2.5 BILLION IN THE REGION
SO I THINK NEPAL CAN AND SHOULD TAKE THE BENEFIT OUT OF IT.
THAT'S ALSO ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES OF THE COUNTRY.
NEPAL ALSO ENJOYS EVERYTHING BUT ARMS RELATIONSHIP
WITH THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES MEANING
THAT YOU CAN SEND ANYTHING TO EUROPE EXCEPT THE ARMS
IN A CONCESSIONAL RATE
IN THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES BASICALLY DUTY FREE
AND QUOTA FREE.
NEPAL IS ALSO A MEMBER OF WHAT THEY CALL THE ASIAN [INAUDIBLE],
SAARC, AS WELL AS WTO AND ALL OF THESE TRADE ORGANIZERS
SINCE THEY HAVE THE OBJECTIVE OF INCREASING THE MARKET ACCESS,
PROMOTING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
AND ALSO PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS,
PROVIDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR COUNTRIES LIKE NEPAL.
SO NEPAL IS A MEMBER ALL THESE BIG COMMITTED
TRADE ORGANIZATIONS.
IN THE AREA OF LET'S SAY POTENTIAL
IN THE COUNTRY INVESTMENT, HYDRO POWER IS ONE
OF THE POTENTIAL AREA IN NEPAL.
I THINK MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THAT BUT OVER THE LAST ONE
AND A HALF YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN SOME ADDITIONAL INCENTIVES
PROVIDED IN THE HYDROPOWER SECTORS.
THAT IS, 7 YEARS OF INCOME TAX HOLIDAY AND 3 ADDITIONAL YEARS
OF 50 PERCENT TAX REDUCTION-- INCOME TAX REDUCTION.
SO SIMILARLY, VALUE ADDED TAX HAS BEEN ELIMINATED FOR SOME
OF THE COMPONENTS OF HYDRAULICS DEVELOPMENT
AND THE POWER PROCESS AGREEMENT RATE HAS BEEN INCREASED
BY 20 PERCENT.
SIMILARLY, NEPAL HAS OPENED
UP 11 SERVICES SECTORS AND 65 SUBSECTORS.
IT INCLUDES MANY SERVICES SECTORS TO--
FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENT AS FOR EXAMPLE EDUCATION, HEALTH,
LEGAL SERVICES, ACCOUNTING SERVICES, BANKING SERVICES,
A NUMBER OF AREAS IN THE TOURISM AREA
BUT TOURISM AREA WAS OPENED EVEN BEFORE, SO THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT
OF SERVICES SECTORS THAT HAD BEEN OPENED UP IN NEPAL
FOR FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT.
SO THIS TRADE AND INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT DONE
BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL AND THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE US ALSO WILL MONITOR WHAT'S BEING DONE,
WHAT CAN BE DONE, HOW THESE CONSTRAINTS CAN BE ELIMINATED
AND THEN WE WILL HAVE DEFINITELY THE BETTER INSTITUTIONAL
AND ORGANIZATION SETUP IN PROMOTING TRADE IN THE COUNTRY.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE OTHER AREAS OF TRADE
THAT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED IN THE RECENT STUDY BETWEEN NEPAL
AND US ESPECIALLY I'M TALKING ABOUT EXPORTS FROM NEPAL TO US?
US MEDICINAL HERBS, I THINK WE BRING VERY LITTLE QUANTITY
OF MEDICINAL HERBS IN THE UNITED STATES FROM NEPAL.
BUT NEPAL HAS A GREAT POTENTIAL.
SILVER JEWELRY ARE ALREADY THERE, GINGER, HONEY, TEA,
COFFEE, CARDAMOM, ESSENTIAL OILS, PASHMINA IS ALREADY THERE,
ENGINEERING SERVICES, WOOL PRODUCTS AND PRODUCTS
WHERE THE US GOVERNMENT HAS PROVIDED THE GSP FACILITY.
GENERALIZED SYSTEM
OF PREFERENCES FACILITIES WILL PROVIDE DUTY FREE QUOTA FREE
STATUS FOR THE PRODUCTS THAT HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED
BY THE US GOVERNMENT, THAT HAVE BEEN GROSSLY UNDERUTILIZED,
SO THAT'S WHERE PROBABLY WE CAN WORK IN THE FUTURE.
LENTILS, HANDMADE PAPER, IRON AND STEEL PRODUCTS ESPECIALLY
FOR OTHER COUNTRIES NOT TO US, AND SERVICES EXPORTS
AND I THINK THESE ARE SOME OF THE AREAS
WHERE WE WILL HAVE THE STRONG POTENTIAL
AND THAT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED BEING DONE
BY A LONG ANALYSIS OF THE COUNTRY.
MANUFACTURING SECTOR, SOME
OF THE MANUFACTURING SECTORS I IDENTIFIED THAT BUT IN GENERAL,
NEPAL BEING IN THE LANDLOCKED COUNTRY,
WE HAVE PROBABLY LIMITED COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR.
BUT MY FEELING IS THAT NEPAL GOVERNMENT IS ALSO TRYING TO SEE
IF WE CAN DOUBLE UP THE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE IN--
ON THE TERAI REGION--
IN THE TERAI REGION AND SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE PROVIDES ENOUGH
INCENTIVES TO INVEST NOT ONLY FOR THE FINAL PRODUCTS
IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR BUT ALSO
FOR OUTSOURCING THE MANUFACTURING PARTS
AND COMPONENTS.
I THINK OUTSOURCING IS NOT ONLY FOR SERVICES SECTOR.
THESE DAYS, THE OUTSOURCING HAS ALSO BEEN VERY POPULAR
IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR.
YOU SEE IN PACIFIC REGION, THE--
ABOUT ONE THIRD OF THE TOTAL TRADE IS DONE IN PARTS
AND COMPONENTS AND NOT FOR THE FINAL PRODUCTS.
I THINK THIS HAS BEEN THE TREND WORLDWIDE.
WORLDWIDE, IT HAS BECOME A GLOBAL VILLAGE,
SO WE DEFINITELY CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR LOW LABOR COST
AND THEN I'LL ALSO SAY THAT NOW NEPALIS LABORERS,
THEY HAVE BECOME SLIGHTLY SKILLED COMPARED TO WHAT IT USED
TO BE A LONG TIME AGO OR 20 YEARS AGO AND THE REASON ITSELF,
INDIA, CHINA'S MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES AND GROWTH RATE
SO I THINK WE CAN PROVIDE-- WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE AREAS.
SO HYDROPOWER SERVICES SECTOR, SOME MANUFACTURING AREAS
AND I THINK THESE ARE SOME
OF THE THINGS PROBABLY WE WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL
FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENT AS WELL AS I IDENTIFIED--
I MENTIONED SOME OF THE PRODUCTS THAT CAN BE BROUGHT
FROM NEPAL TO THE UNITED STATES.
YES, I THINK WE HAVE SOME PROBLEMS, SOME PROBLEMS
IN THE ELECTRICITY AREA.
>> THESE PRODUCTS THAT I MENTIONED BEFORE,
THESE ARE THE LOW ENERGY INTENSIVE PRODUCTS
WHICH CAN BE EXPORTED, WHICH CAN BE PROMOTED EVEN
IN A LOW ELECTRICITY SUPPLY TIME.
BUT WE STILL-- THERE ARE AGAIN SOME POLITICAL ISSUES LEFT
BEHIND AND THERE'S THE COMPLETION OF THE PEACE PROCESS
AND COMPLETION OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION IN NEPAL.
WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE INVESTMENT
AND TRADING RELATIONSHIP.
PEOPLE TO PEOPLE RELATION BEING STRONGER IN THE FUTURE
BETWEEN NEPAL AND US WHETHER WE TALK ABOUT THE EDUCATION SECTOR,
TOURISM SECTOR, ALL THE OTHER PROMOTIONAL ACTIVITIES
THAT IS BEING DONE BY AMERICAN NGO'S IN NEPAL
AND NOT ONLY AMERICAN NGO'S A LOT OF DIASPORA COMMUNITY
AND INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE.
WE GET MANY E-MAILS FROM THE EMBASSY--
IN THE EMBASSY THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO DO SOMETHING IN NEPAL,
WHERE DO YOU SUGGEST, WHERE DO WE THINK WE CAN GO.
SO I THINK THERE ARE MANY INQUIRIES COMING
FROM THE AMERICAN PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS
AND THEN I WAS ATTENDING ONE OF THE CONFERENCES A FEW YEARS AGO
IN EUROPE, THE ASSISTANCE COMING
FROM THE PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS,
NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS IN THE FUTURE
AND PROBABLY IT'S TRUE EVEN TODAY,
I HAVE NOT SEEN THE NUMBER WILL BE MUCH HIGHER COMPARED
TO WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL PROVIDE AS THE ASSISTANCE
TO OTHER COUNTRIES AND OTHER GOVERNMENT, SO I THINK WE--
THERE IS SO MUCH POTENTIAL IN US
TO EXPLOIT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
AND PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE BENEFIT OF NEPAL
IN DIFFERENT AREAS WHETHER THAT'S POVERTY REDUCTION
OR THE DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE COUNTRY.
SO I THINK I TOUCHED UPON ON DIFFERENT AREAS
OF NEPAL-US RELATIONSHIP,
SOME ISSUES ABOUT THE EXPORTS INVESTMENT, TOURISM AREAS
WHERE WE CAN HAVE-- AND THE SERVICES SECTOR
WHERE WE CAN HAVE FUTURE LINKAGES AND INVESTMENT,
TRADING RELATIONSHIP AND ALSO TOUCHED UP ON SOME
OF THE VARIOUS AREAS WHERE WE CAN HAVE SOME STRONGER BENEFITS
BETWEEN NEPAL AND US.
I ALSO GIVE EMPHASIS ON PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN NEPAL AND THE US.
IN OUR MOST NUMBER OF TOURISTS NOT ONLY GOING TO NEPAL
BUT WHEN THEY COME BACK, MANY OF THESE TOURISTS,
THEY WOULD LIKE TO GO BACK AGAIN TO NEPAL.
I THINK THAT'S-- NEPAL HAS THAT ATTRACTION
AND WE HAVE SEEN THESE PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS
WHO HAVE RETURNED BACK FROM NEPAL
TO US STILL CONTINUING THEIR ACTIVITIES--
DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES IN NEPAL WHETHER THAT'S
IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR OR DOING SOME BUSINESS IN THE COUNTRY,
TAKING PEOPLE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO NEPAL
AS A TOUR GUIDE OR TOUR OPERATOR.
SO I THINK MANY OF THESE PEOPLE ARE INVOLVED
IN NEPAL'S DEVELOPMENT WORK.
I ALWAYS SAY THAT NOT ONLY THE NEPALI DOES
FOR OUR COMMUNITIES ARE THE GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOREVER
FOR LIFE BUT ALSO THESE PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS ARE MANY PEOPLE
WHO HAVE WORKED IN NEPAL, HAVE COME BACK TO THE UNITED STATES,
THEY HAVE BECOME AND THEY HAVE ACTED
LIKE THE GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR NEPAL ALL THE TIME FOR LIFE
SO I THINK THAT HAS BEEN VERY GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY
BECAUSE THE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, TRADE AND THESE
AND THAT PROBABLY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT REAL TIME STATISTICS
BUT IF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE RELATIONSHIP,
THAT'S ENORMOUS AND THEN THAT'S FOR THE LIFE.
I THINK WE ARE ALSO TRYING
TO SEE HOW WE CAN DEVELOP THOSE KINDS OF ACTIVITIES.
I THINK MAY I'LL STOP HERE AND MAYBE WE CAN OPEN UP ABOUT
FOR THE QUESTION AND ANSWER, BUT IN THE MEANTIME,
I WOULD LIKE TO WISH THE COLLEGE OF CONTINUING
AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION ALL THE BEST
BECAUSE YOU ARE CELEBRATING 40TH ANNIVERSARY,
HAVE DONE EXCELLENT WORK THAT'S WHAT I HEARD AND ALL OF US
TO YOU TOO, THANK YOU.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> WE HAVE 2 MORE MINUTES FOR SOME Q&A, ANY QUESTIONS
FROM THE AUDIENCE [INAUDIBLE].
>> I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF RESOURCES DOES--
DO YOU OR IN VISITING NEPAL IN WASHINGTON HAVE TO HELP PEOPLE
LIKE US WHO ARE TRYING TO PROMOTE TRADE
BETWEEN NEPAL AND UNITED STATES.
I WENT TO NEPAL RECENTLY.
I MET A LOT OF PEOPLE, BUSINESSMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED
IN SELLING THEIR PRODUCTS OVER HERE.
AND MY CHALLENGE IS MORE IN THIS SIDE
IN FINDING THE SUITABLE PARTNERS HERE, WORKING RELATIONSHIP
OF ALL THE PARTNERS HERE, CAN WE GET ANY HELP
FROM THE EMBASSY IN THAT RESPECT?
ALSO LIKE YOU KNOW, BRINGING LIKE THESE INVESTMENTS
FROM UNITED STATES TO NEPAL, WE'RE WORKING ON THAT TOO SO--
BUT MY PROBLEM REALLY IS TO FIND THE RESOURCES HERE,
WHO DO WE CONTACT, WHERE DO WE GO TO FIND PEOPLE
WHO ARE INTERESTED IN BUYING THESE PRODUCTS,
CAN YOU HELP US WITH THAT.
>> I THINK WE ARE TRYING TO DO 2 THINGS, ONE IS TRYING
TO SPREAD OUT THE MESSAGE.
I THINK WHAT ARE THE SOME OF THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
THAT HAVE BEEN DONE IN NEPAL, HOW WE CAN FACILITATE,
HOW WE CAN PROVIDE THE LINKAGES TO THE RESPECTIVE MINISTRIES
AND THE CONTACT PEOPLE IN THE GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL.
I THINK THAT'S OUR MAIN RESPONSIBILITY
AND THAT'S-- WE'LL DO THAT.
THE SECOND IS WE ARE ALSO TRYING TO SEE
IF WE CAN MAKE A DIRECTORY OF THE PEOPLE AND THE AGENCIES
WHO ARE INTERESTED IN SOME KIND OF INVESTMENT AND LINK
UP WITH THE NEPALIS BUSINESS COMMUNITIES.
THIS IS NOT EASY BECAUSE IN THE US, THERE ARE MILLIONS
OF COMPANIES ANYWAY AND THEN HOW TO FIND THEM OUT,
HOW TO PRIORITIZE IS A DIFFICULT WORK
BUT THIS IS A BUILDING BLOCK PROCESS
AND WE HAVE STARTED COMPILING THE DIRECTORY OF SOME
OF THE AGENCIES AND THE PEOPLE WHO ARE--
WHO HAVE ALREADY STARTED WORKING OR WHO WILL WORK
WHO HAS THE POTENTIAL TO WORK IN NEPAL BUT IT'S NOT THAT EASY.
I DON'T THINK I WILL COMMIT ON THAT AND THEN SAY
THAT WE'LL COMPLETE THAT ONE SOON BUT I THINK THE BEST WAY
TO GO ABOUT-- I THINK THAT'S MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
OVER THE LAST ONE AND A HALF YEARS, THE BEST WAY
TO CONTACT ASSOCIATION OF THESE AGENCIES.
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HYDROPOWER INVESTMENT IN NEPAL.
THERE'S A HYDROPOWER ASSOCIATION, ONE OF THE OFFICES
IN WASHINGTON DC, YOU SHOULD GO AND CONTACT WITH THESE PEOPLE.
THEY'LL CIRCULATE YOUR IDEA OR REQUEST TO THEIR MEMBERS ALL
OVER THE UNITED STATES AND PROBABLY EVEN BEYOND
AND IF THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED TO TALK TO YOU,
DEFINITELY THEY'LL COME TO YOU AND IF THERE ARE ANY PEOPLE
WHO ARE WORKING IN NEPAL, SOUTH ASIA,
THEY WILL GIVE YOU THE CONTACT.
I THINK I FOUND THAT ONE VERY USEFUL, OTHERWISE,
THIS BIG COUNTRY, WHERE DO YOU GO AND HOW DO YOU FIND OUT.
I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE BEST OPTIONS PROBABLY YOU CAN
UTILIZE, THE ASSOCIATIONS AND THAT TAKING PART OF THE--
TAKING INTEREST AND ATTENDING SOME
OF THEIR CONFERENCES WILL ALSO BE EXTREMELY USEFUL.
I THINK THAT WILL DEVELOP THE NETWORK.
THIS-- THERE'S A WHITE HOUSE INITIATIVE FOR ASIANS
AND PACIFIC ISLANDERS.
THERE'S-- I THINK I GET AN E-MAIL ALMOST EVERY WEEK.
THEY ARE INVOLVED IN ONE OR ANOTHER KIND OF PROGRAM,
WHAT KIND OF FACILITIES THE ASIANS CAN GET BEING THE
MINORITY IN THE COUNTRY.
WHAT ARE SOME THE INCENTIVES AND THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF THINGS
THAT WE HAVE NOT AWARE OF THAT
BUT THEY CAN PROVIDE THE INFORMATION.
SO I THINK THAT'S WHAT PROBABLY ANSWERS THAT.
>> OKAY, YES PLEASE.
>> THANK YOU-- FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR COMING
FROM WASHINGTON, DC TO SHARE WITH US AND FOR BEING HERE.
MY QUESTION IS HOW DO YOU SAY THAT NEPAL POPULATION HAS GROWN
FROM WHEN I WAS-- NEPAL WAS 20 MILLION, NOW IT'S 30 MILLION.
POPULATION IS GROWING WITH RESOURCES ESPECIALLY FOOD
IN SHORTAGE, THEN WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT LIKE IN THE FUTURE,
SHORTAGE OF FOOD AND I THINK THAT NEPAL IS STILL IN THE FARM,
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMY, 80 PERCENT PEOPLE ARE FARMING
AND FUNDS SOMETIMES I SEE IN THE NEWS
THAT THEY HAVE IMMENSE SHORTAGE OF FERTILIZER,
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SCOPE OF EXPORTING FERTILIZER
FROM THE UNITED STATES TO NEPAL AND HOW IS--
WHAT IS LIKE TRADE RELATIONSBETWEEN INDIA AND NEPAL
AND US LIKE IN TERMS OF FERTILIZER
AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS.
>> I DON'T KNOW THE POTENTIAL AND THE COST
BECAUSE IT COULD BE VERY COSTLY BECAUSE EVEN
IF YOU ARE EXPORTING FERTILIZER TO NEPAL,
I DON'T THINK YOU'LL PROBABLY EXPORT IT FROM US.
WHAT YOU DO IS YOU BUY IN INDONESIA, YOU BUY IN SOME
OF THE ENERGY INTENSIVE COUNTRIES
WHERE THEY PRODUCE A LOT OF FERTILIZER
AND THEN EXPORT TO NEPAL.
I THINK THAT'S WHAT I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE DOING.
THE POPULATION GROWTH RATE, YES, IN THE PREVIOUS YEARS,
IT WAS QUITE HIGH BUT NOW THE FERTILITY RATE HAS DECLINED.
MIGRATION FROM OTHER PLACES LIKE INDIA,
I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANY SIGNIFICANT MIGRATION THESE DAYS
NOW, SO THE REAL GROWTH RATE WE HAVE TO SEE
BECAUSE WE HAVE DONE THE CENSUS JUST LAST MONTH,
WE HAVE TO SEE THE NEW NUMBERS BUT MY FEELING IS THAT--
AND THEN IF WE GO BY THE TREND, THE FERTILITY DATE
AND POPULATION GROWTH HAS COME DOWN.
NOW, THE FOOD PERSPECTIVE, WE STILL CAN EXPORT A LOT
OF AREAS IN AGRICULTURE.
>> AND HIGH VALUE CROPS, THE AGRICULTURE GROWTH RATE HAS BEEN
ABOUT 6 PERCENT IN NEPAL.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT HIGH VALUE CROPS, THIS IS TEA, COFFEE,
CARDAMOM, VEGETABLES, OFF SEASON VEGETABLES THEY ARE DOING GREAT
BECAUSE WE HAVE INCREASED EXCESS OF ROAD TRANSPORT IN NEPAL,
INCREASED ORGANIZATION IN NEPAL, NOT ONLY NEPAL
BUT ACROSS THE BORDER IN INDIA.
SO THEY ARE ALL DOING GOOD I THINK DESPITE THE LACK
OF GOVERNMENT'S INITIATIVE IN THESE AREAS
OR NOT ENOUGH GIVING-- NOT ENOUGH INITIATIVE IN THESE AREAS
BUT THE MAIN PROBLEM IS IN THE CROP IN NEPAL.
THE PRODUCTIVITY OF THE MAJOR CROPS, RICE, CORN, WHEAT, LOW.
I THINK IT'S VERY LOW AND ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE
IN THE PRODUCTIVITY BETWEEN NEPAL AND INDIA,
BANGLADESH AND NEPAL IS WATER.
IF WE ARE TALKING AND DOING THE FACTOR ANALYSIS,
IF WE CAN IRRIGATE THE LAND ESPECIALLY IN THE TERAI AREA,
WE CAN EASILY HAVE 4 TO 5 PERCENT GROWTH RATE
IN AGRICULTURE IN A SUSTAINABLE MANNER.
SO I THINK THAT IS ONE OF THE AREAS WHERE PROBABLY WE NEED
TO FOCUS ON BUT THERE ARE SOME PROBLEMS DOING IRRIGATION
IN THE TERAI REGION.
FIRST OF ALL, THE COST, THE SECOND IS ANYTHING THAT YOU DO,
LOWER RIPARIAN, UPPER RIPARIAN ABOUT THE WATER,
I THINK YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE CONSULTATION WITH INDIA ALSO.
SO I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE A STRONGER COOPERATION
BETWEEN INDIA AND NEPAL IN THIS AREA.
FOOD SHORTAGE AND FOOD UNAVAILABILITY,
I THINK IF THE COUNTRY HAS THE PURCHASING POWER,
I THINK THAT'S ALSO THE DEFINITION OF FOOD SECURITY
FROM FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL MEASURES,
MEANING THAT EITHER YOU HAVE TO HAVE PLENTY OF FOOD
THAT IS GROWN BY YOURSELF
BECAUSE YOU'RE NEIGHBORS WILL NOT GIVE YOU FREE OR YOU HAVE
TO HAVE THE ADEQUATE INCOME TO PURCHASE THE FOOD,
SO I THINK IT'S BASICALLY RELATED WITH YOU'RE CAPACITY
TO BUY THE FOOD OR TO GROW THE FOOD BY YOURSELF AND SO I THINK
IF WE CAN INCREASE THE GDP GROWTH RATE WHETHER THAT'S
THROUGH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT, HYDROPOWER DEVELOPMENT,
MANUFACTURING SECTOR OR LITTLE BIT OF GROWTH OF AGRICULTURE,
THEY WILL CONTRIBUTE IN SECURING--
FOOD SECURITY AT THE HOUSEHOLD LEVEL AND THE COUNTRY.
>> YES, PLEASE.
>> IS THIS-- THANK YOU FOR COMING ALL THE WAY
FROM WASHINGTON DC, HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. SHARMA.
THIS IS REGARDING AMERICAN AND NEPAL RELATIONSHIP.
EVERY TIME PEOPLE GO TO TAKE VISA AND WE ARE HAVING TROUBLE,
YOU KNOW, STUDENTS WHO VISITS [INAUDIBLE] PARTICIPATE
AND YOUR PARENTS SHOULD COME OVER HERE,
AND CAN WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
>> THIS-- I THINK I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING VISA
TO THE AMERICANS GOING TO NEPAL THAT I CAN ASSURE.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> IT WILL BE DONE WITHIN ONE DAY,
VERY EFFICIENT AND VERY EFFECTIVE.
THE OTHER PART IS A VERY COMPLEX PART.
[LAUGHTER] THAT IS UP TO THE AMERICAN AMBASSADOR,
THE AMERICAN STATE DEPARTMENT, AMERICAN GOVERNMENT,
GOVERNMENT'S RESPONSIBILITY BUT THE THING IS
THAT AS DR. JOSHEE WAS MENTIONING, IF WE SEE THE NUMBER
OF STUDENTS IN US, IT IS SECOND TO INDIA FROM SOUTH ASIA.
I THINK WITH THIS WHICH IS GENEROUS I'LL SAY.
IF WE TALK EVEN GLOBALLY, NEPAL OCCUPIES 10TH POSITION.
IN TERMS OF POPULATION, NEPAL IS NOT--
DON'T HAVE THE 10TH RANKING IN THE POPULATION SO I THINK
FOR THE STUDENTS, YES, I THINK THERE WILL DENIAL,
THERE WILL BE PROBLEMS BUT THEY ALSO HAVE SOME CRITERIA
WHO CAN COME AND WHO CANNOT, WHO HAS THE POTENTIAL
BUT IN GENERAL, IF WE SEE THE NUMBER,
I THINK IT IS QUITE GENEROUS.
IF YOU COME TO WASHINGTON DC,
I THINK EVERYDAY THERE WILL BE SOME NEW PEOPLE COMING
AND VISITING OUR EMBASSY SO I THINK THERE'S A SHORT
OF NEPALIS PEOPLE COMING TO WASHINGTON DC
AND THE UNITED STATES BUT YOU ARE RIGHT, IN SOME CASES,
I THINK EVEN IF THEIR CHILDREN ARE GETTING MARRIED,
THEY DON'T GET THE VISA.
IF THERE ARE OTHER OCCASIONS LIKE ATTENDING THE GRADUATION,
I FIGURED OUT FROM SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING
IN THE CONSULAR SECTION AMERICAN EMBASSY,
I THINK WHAT COULD BE THE POTENTIAL, WE DON'T GO BY CASE
BY CASE BUT FOR MANY CASES, I DON'T SAY FOR ALL THE CASES,
FOR MANY CASES, THERE IS SOME JUSTIFICATION.
BUT WE DON'T KNOW THE DETAILS
AND WE ARE ALSO NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT.
WE ALSO SAY TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY TO NEPAL,
PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE IN MANY OF THESE CASES
AND IF THERE ARE ANY EMERGENCY AND SERIOUS PROBLEMS,
WE ALSO RECOMMEND FROM OUR EMBASSY TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY
AND THEY HAVE HEARD THAT.
THEY ARE VERY POSITIVE ON THAT.
>> MAYBE ONE LAST QUESTION.
>> I THINK THERE-- NO, THERE IS ONE THERE.
YEAH, THERE'S A LADY THERE.
>> OH OKAY, YEAH, GO AHEAD AND THEN I'LL TAKE 2 MORE THEN.
>> YEAH OKAY.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> ACTUALLY THIS IS A QUESTION FROM A STUDENT
WHO COULDN'T BE HERE TO SEE THIS EVENING.
HE'S INTERESTED IN STARTING A STUDENT GROUP ON CAMPUS
AND WE WOULD BE DOING MICRO-LENDING AND HE'S ASKING
ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF NEPAL AND IF YOU HAVE AN OPINION
FOR THAT MICRO-LENDING.
>> I'LL SAY MIXED, IN THE SENSE THAT WE HAVE SO MUCH
OF POTENTIAL IN NEPAL BECAUSE THE ACCESS
TO LOAN IS I THINK VERY RARE TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING
IN THE VILLAGE AREAS SO FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, YES,
I THINK WE HAVE SO MUCH OF POTENTIAL FOR MICRO-LENDING,
MICRO-CREATE IN NEPAL.
THE SECOND IS OVERHEAD COST OF MICRO-LENDING IS QUITE HIGH.
LET'S SAY, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO GO BY THE MARKET, MY FEELING IS
THAT INTEREST RATES WOULD BE ANYTHING
BETWEEN 20 TO 25 PERCENT.
IT'S VERY HIGH COMPARED TO THE COMMERCIAL BANKS.
THE REASON IS THAT IN THE COMMERCIAL BANKS,
YOU GIVE LOAN IN MILLIONS.
IN THESE PLACES, YOU GIVE IN HUNDREDS,
THEN I THINK THE COLLECTING THE LOAN BACK,
COLLECTING THE INTEREST,
TRAVELING TO THOSE PLACES WILL BE VERY EXPENSIVE,
SO IF THERE IS ANY FOUNDATION, ANY ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING
FOR THE OVERHEAD COST AND MANY OF THE ORGANIZATIONS,
THEY DO THAT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE IN THE RURAL AREAS
FOR THE CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME AND WE HAVE PLENTY
OF THOSE PROGRAMS IN NEPAL EVEN ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
DOES THAT.
SO IF THERE IS ANY SUPPORT FROM ANY ORGANIZATIONS IN REDUCING
OR IN PROVIDING SOME OF THE OVERHEAD COST,
IT WILL BE MUCH EASIER, MUCH MORE BENEFICIAL
TO THE RURAL PEOPLE OF NEPAL BUT IF IT IS ON HER WON
OR ON HIS WON, I THINK IT IS--
THE INTEREST RATE HAS TO BE VERY, VERY HIGH
AND THEN MAYBE NOT FEASIBLE TO ALLOW TO EXTEND.
YEAH, THANK YOU.
THE LAST ONE?
YEAH, OKAY.
>> YOUR EXCELLENCY, LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF FIRST.
>> OKAY.
>> I WORK AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY [INAUDIBLE]
AND ARE EQUALLY LARGE AS THE INSTITUTION
OR CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY.
[ LAUGHS ]
>> SOMETIMES WE ARE LARGER, SOMETIMES--
>> OH, OKAY.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> NOW I KNOW THAT.
>> YEAH, I WOULD CHANGE THE TOPIC NOW, YOU KNOW,
WE HAVE A PRIME THAT WE ARE TOP 10 NATION IN THE WORLD
TO SEND OUR STUDENTS TO THE US.
WE HAVE PRIDE IN THAT LOOKS LIKE--
AND BEING YOURSELF AS AN ACADEMICIAN BACK IN THE COUNTRY
AND IN YOUR RESEARCH LIFE, I THINK ITS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US
TO THINK OF, YOU KNOW, ACADEMIC TIES BETWEEN 2 COUNTRIES.
DURING YOU'RE TENURE, DO YOU HAVE ANY PRIORITIES TO,
YOU KNOW, THINK IN THAT AREA ALSO OTHER THAN THE ECONOMY.
>> YES, I THINK WHENEVER--
I THINK THE THING IS
THAT WHENEVER THERE IS ANY REQUEST ESPECIALLY
FROM THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES TO SEND EITHER SOME STUDENTS
OR THE FACULTY MEMBERS IN NEPAL, I HAVE HELPED THEM ACTUALLY
AND IT HAS WORKED IT OUT-- IT HAS WORKED OUT WELL.
IF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT BRINGING NEPALIS FACULTY MEMBERS
TO THIS PLACE, I THINK THERE IS SOME DEMAND FROM VARIOUS PEOPLE
BUT I HAVE NOT SEEN ANY SERIOUS E-MAILS COMING
FROM NEPAL BUT THAT'S DIFFICULT.
IT'S NOT THAT EASY EITHER
BECAUSE PROBABLY I CAN SEND THESE LETTERS TO SOME
OF THE PEOPLE WHOM I KNOW BUT THERE ARE PROCESSES,
THERE ARE FELLOWSHIPS, THERE ARE
SO MANY THINGS AVAILABLE IN THIS COUNTRY.
I THINK I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU ONE EXAMPLE.
I WAS IN HAWAII BUT ONE FINE MORNING.
I THOUGHT THAT IF I GO BACK TO NEPAL
WITHOUT GONG TO THE MAINLAND US.
PEOPLE WILL ASK ME HAVE YOU BEEN TO NEW YORK,
WASHINGTON DC, LOS ANGELES?
I COULD SAY, NO, NO AND NO.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> SO I WENT TO THE LIBRARY AT THAT TIME.
THERE WAS NO GOOGLE FACILITY OR INTERNET FACILITIES TO FIND
OUT WHAT IS WHERE AND I WENT TO THE LIBRARY AND FIND OUT THAT
WHO WILL PROVIDE ME THE SUMMER SCHOLARSHIP SO THAT I CAN GO
TO THE MAINLAND FREE OF COST.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> SO FORTUNATELY, I FOUND OUT ONE IN MICHIGAN STATE--
MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY ANN ARBOR, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.
SO THEY PROVIDED ME 2 MONTHS OF FULL PAYMENT, HOUSING, TUITION,
AIR FARE AND EVERYTHING AND THEN
AND THE REASON I WAS GETTING THE STEP
IN FROM THE EAST-WEST CENTER,
SO ACTUALLY DURING THE SUMMER TIME, I WAS PAID 2 TIMES.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> SO I SPEND 2 MONTHS IN THE UNIVERSITY THERE.
I GOT ONE ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATE THE SUMMER TIME.
IN THE MEANTIME, I CAME TO THE LONG BEACH DURING THAT PERIOD,
MY FIRST VISIT AND A NUMBER OF THIS PLACE AND SHE APPLIED--
SHE'S THE HEAD OF THE SIDDHARTHAART GALLERY.
THIS IS A VERY PRESTIGIOUS SCHOLARSHIP.
YOU DON'T COME HERE ONLY ONCE.
THEY'LL INVITE 3 TIMES IN CONSECUTIVE 3 YEARS
FOR SUMMER TIME, SUMMER OF 2011, SUMMER 2012 AND SUMMER OF 2013,
SO SHE WAS ABLE TO GET THAT-- A FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM.
US, YOU KNOW THAT BETTER THAN I DO IS THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITIES.
IF YOU GO GOOGLE,
TRY IN DIFFERENT PLACES, YOU STILL CAN COME.
I THINK I GUARANTEE THAT ONE.
SO, BUT THERE ARE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES LIKE LINKING SOME
OF THE UNIVERSITIES HERE WITH SOME OF THE PROGRAMS
IN NEPAL'S UNIVERSITY.
TRIBHUVAN UNIVERSITY, THERE ARE SOME PROBLEMS OF GOVERNMENTS.
I KNOW THAT AND YOU KNOW THAT.
ANYTHING THAT IS DONE BETWEEN ANY UNIVERSITY HERE
AND KATHMANDU UNIVERSITY HAS WORKED OUT VERY WELL,
SO IF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS, LET ME KNOW.
I THINK I CAN EXPLORE.
THANK YOU.
[ APPLAUSE ]
[ INAUDIBLE DISCUSSIONS ]