• Welcome to AIDIA
    The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs
    Connecting Today's Leaders with Tomorrow's Ideas
  • Team AIDIA
    with Dr. Dattesh Prabhu Parulekar
  • Mr. Nabindra Raj Joshi,
    Honorable Minister for Industry of Nepal Addressing
  • Nepal Foreign Policy Conference 2017
  • Message From CEO/Founder
  • Roundtable Meeting on
    Prospects And Challenges On Nepal-India-Bangladesh Trilateral Co-Operation
  • Roundtable meeting on
    Prospects and Challenges of Hydropower Education in Nepal
  • 2nd Nepal Bangladesh Business Forum 2018
    Beyond Bilateralism: Cooperation for Prosperity
  • Seminar on
    P.M. Dahal's India Visit: Impact on Bilateral Trade, Business and Investment
  • Nepal Bangladesh Business Forum (NBBF)
  • The Second Himalayas Forum
    Prospects for the Future of Nepal-India-Bangladesh Trilateral Economic Partnership
  • Interaction with Ethiopian Ambassador to South Asia
  • Nepal-India Trade, Transit and Economic Relations:
    Past, Present and the Furure
  • P.M. Oli's India Visit:
    Present Status of Trade, Transit, Business and Investment

Welcome to AIDIA

The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, is an independent, non-partisan, foreign policy think-tank, based in the highly geo-strategic Himalayan region. Headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal, AIDIA aims to lead a new era in foreign policy and international relations and reflects the unstoppable rise of the Asian continent as the key stakeholder in the economic, strategic and geo-political equations of the present day world.

AIDIA provides a platform for Policy Makers, Academicians and Industry leaders from around the world to come together to debate, discuss and share their views on the contemporary geopolitical and geoeconomic issues confronting the international community. We seek to do this by facilitating effective engagement through the various AIDIA fora our in order to inform, educate and initiate the involvment of Nepal's youth in foreign policy debates and decision making. AIDIA is actively engaged in providing policy analysis, facilitating diplomatic dialogue,  and promoting entrepreneurial engagement among all major actors and institutions native to or that have an interest in Asia.

Message From Founder

Mr. Sunil KC

I was born in Kachili-Dang, a small town in a remote area of the Nepalese Himalayas, with no electricity or paved roads. As a child, I experienced the hardships of rural life in this part of the world and soon developed a strong curiosity about all aspects related to international relations and diplomacy. I collected and eagerly read all materials available and made myself familiar with the classic principles and theories, the works and views of the most outstanding authors, and the analysis of the latest international news. Curiosity gave way to a real passion for the field and thus I aimed at completing a degree in those areas, but was truly disappointed when I found out that the poor and outdated education system in Nepal did not offer such studies. I then embarked on a personal challenge that lasts to this day – to try my best to improve the lives of my fellow citizens, the people in the Himalayas region and Asians in general, without forgetting my zeal for international relations.

I worked as a radio reporter, focusing my work on the promotion of teenagers in rural areas. I established the Youth Foundation Nepal, whose mission was to give voice and empower the younger generations of disadvantaged sectors in society, and collaborated in the creation of Movement for Change, a civil society organisation aiming at wider public involvement in the modernisation of Nepal. I have also been involved, as the executive producer, in the production of a series of film documentaries with a social content, of which the UN-recognised Ready-Willing-and-Able (RWA), widely portrayed as a symbol of latest civil society initiatives in Nepal, has been the most significant.

During the last years, I have been fully immersed in the conceptualisation and establishment of AIDIA. Born as a result of the gap existing in Nepalese foreign affairs and diplomatic studies and practice, AIDIA has been envisioned as an Institute that would place Nepal at the front line of global academic excellence and that would also provide the required expertise in the field of education in diplomacy and international relations to the newer generations of Nepalese -and wider Asian- public service and business practitioners. With AIDIA, I am willing to stir the practice of diplomatic relations in a region that has traditionally been out of the global focus in spite of its top strategic character at present and in the coming times, by creating a conducive environment for more enhanced and constructive dialogue and collaboration among international affairs professionals and foreign representatives. I am happy to say that, in spite of its recent inception, AIDIA is already moving forward with all of its envisaged programmes, and the Institute has gained a relevant position within the existing networks at regional, continental and world levels.

You can also read interviews and statements of Mr. Sunil K.C here:

1. Business 360 magazine: www.b360nepal.com/face-2-face/we-lack-defined-foreign-policy-and-our-political-willpower-is-very-low.html


2. The Rising Nepal: therisingnepal.org.np/news/18659


3. Youth Legend: www.ylnepal.com/months-hero-sunil-k-c-dream-bring-grassroots-nepali-minds-youth-national-global-mainstreams/


4. BD News: http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2014/11/01/nepal-think-tank-foresees-average-saarc-summit


5. http://www.edu.int/news/Sunil_K.C/ . ( Published on EDU Inter Governmental Organization )

6.  http://www.edu.int/news/Nepal_Impact_Study/ ( EDU Inter Governmental Organization)

7. http://www.edu.int/AIDIA/ ( EDU Inter Governmental Org)

9. http://www.edu.int/news/AIDIA_ETHIOPIA/ ( EDU Inter Governmental Org) 

10. http://setopati.net/society/11135/ ( Setopati News)

11. http://mwebantu.news/press-statement-on-asian-institute-of-diplomacy-and-international-affairs/

12. Press Release Issued by Embassy of Zambia in India on AIDIA

13.http://admin.myrepublica.com/economy/story/35395/nepal-bangladesh-business-forum-to-begin-on-friday.html ( My Republica Daily)

14. http://www.youthlegend.com/startup-nepal-asian-institute-diplomacy-international-affairs-aidia/ ( Youth Legend) 

15. http://askmissa.com/2014/06/12/charity-spotlight-asian-institute-of-diplomacy-and-international-affairs/


16. https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/zambia-good-example-of-democracy-asian-institute/ ( Zambia Daily Limited)


17. European Think Tank- South Asia Democratic Forum: sadf.eu/new/tsa/think-south-asia-nepal-problems-promises-prospects/  . It can also be found at    http://www.aidiaasia.org/contentArticle-bmpV

18: CEO in The Hindustan Times News:  http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/china-looks-at-nepal-as-potential-gateway-to-south-asia-expands-footprints-in-market/story-utmY6zKXG8UQ2lIEg7J35I.html

19: The Rising Nepal: www.therisingnepal.org.np/news/21068

20: The Asian Age:  https://dailyasianage.com/news/107612/trilateral-cooperation-among-bd-india-nepal-suggested

21: www.thedialogue.co/enormous-transformation-taking-place-global-stage-also-forced-countries-revisit-bilateral-affairs-sunil-kc/


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Latest News
  • Nepal, Kazakhstan economic cooperation highlighted
  • Nepal- Bangladesh Trade Meet Begins
  • Nepal-Bangladesh to jointly promote trade, tourism
  • Bangladesh-Nepal relations: Trade and commerce roundtable held
  • Fostering economic development through cooperation
  • Second edition of Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum ends
  • Asian institute recommends Zambia for trade, tourism
  • AIDIA hosts Nepal-Zambia roundtable meeting
  • Nepal-Zambia to explore opportunities
  • Tajikistan shows interest in Nepal’s hydro sector
  • Connectivity Conundrum
  • 2nd Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum scheduled for February 2018
  • Nepal-Bangladesh-India initiative has major potential
  • Catalyst for Regional Integration: Nepal-India-Bangladesh Cooperation
  • Congratulations Nepal
  • Participation of Commerce Secretary in a Round Table Meeting organized by AIDIA on Prospects and Challenges for promoting Trilateral Cooperation among Nepal, Bangladesh and India for Trade and Economic Development
  • Connectivity key to harness regional cooperation
  • Prospects And Challenges On Nepal-India-Bangladesh Trilateral Co-Operation
  • Connectivity key to harnessing regional ties : Gowher Rizvi
  • Connectivity key to harness regional co-op: Dr Rizvi
  • The Kathmandu Post quoted The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs - AIDIA in the article "Retuning foreign policy Leaders should know that global beggary and national sovereignty do not go together" by BIRANCHI POUDYAL
  • नेपालमा अन्तराष्ट्रिय ताल सम्मेलन हुने
  • नेपालमा अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय ताल सम्मेलन हुने
  • International Conference on Lakes Next Year
  • AIDIA agreed to be a 'strategic partner' of International Lake Conference
  • Ethiopia appointed AIDIA's Advisor, Rajendra Giri as an Honorary Consul to Nepal
  • AIDIA Signed MOU with Tribhuvan University's Research Centre, RECAST
  • Nepal Government's Central University MWU appointed AIDIA's CEO as a Visiting Faculty Member
  • AIDIA's CEO met IBN's CEO
  • Interaction Program with Ethiopian Ambassador to South Asia
  • Meeting with Ethiopian Ambassador for South Asia at CNI
  • किन अघि बढ्दैनन् भारतीय लगानीका आयोजना ? राजदूत भन्छन्, ‘परियोजनालाई राजनीतिक फुटबल बनाईयो’
  • व्यापार प्रवद्र्धनका लागि प्रधानमन्त्रीको भारत भ्रमण सफल भएको निष्कर्ष
  • व्यापार प्रवर्द्धनका लागि प्रधानमन्त्रीको भारत भ्रमण सफल भएको निष्कर्ष
  • व्यापार प्रवद्र्धनका लागि प्रधानमन्त्रीको भारत भ्रमण सफल भएको निष्कर्ष
  • प्रधानमन्त्री दाहालको भारत भ्रमणको उदेश्य द्धिपक्षीय सम्बन्ध सुधारका निम्ति : वाणिज्यमन्त्री थकाली
  • 'व्यापार प्रवद्र्धनका लागि प्रधानमन्त्रीको भारत भ्रमण सफल'
  • प्रधानमन्त्रीको भारत भ्रमण समिक्षा: राजदुत रे का अगाडी मन्त्री र सचिबको यस्तो धारणा
  • नेपालमा हाइड्रोपावर इन्जिनियरिङकोे पढाई हुने
  • Press Release: The Round Table Meeting on “Prospects and Challenges of Hydropower Education in Nepal
  • AIDIA and University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) sign an MoU for academic exchange, research and development
  • CEO/Founder as a Special Guest Speaker of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh
  • AIDIA wishes to congratulate Dr. Mahendra Kumar Malla on his appointment as the new Registrar of MWU
  • AIDIA expresses condolences to the Bangladeshi government and people for the ghastly attacks in Dhaka
  • Nepal think-tank AIDIA to host tri-lateral economic conference with Bangladesh, India
  • Focus on pragmatism: Indian Ambassador
  • AIDIA-JSIA Youth Exchange Program concludes
  • AIDIA-JSIA youth exchange programme concludes
  • AIDIA signs MoU with Philippines-based organization PhISO
  • Nepal think-tank AIDIA signs MoU with India’s OP Jindal Global University
  • AIDIA signs MoU with O.P. Jindal Global University
  • AIDIA wishes to congratulate Bhupendra Sitaula, Chairman of Education Park
  • CEO/Founder of AIDIA delivered a Guest Lecture in CG Institute of Management
  • AIDIA signed MOU with IIPP an Indian Think Tank
  • Laos supports temblor victims
  • CEO/Founder Met BJP'S Vice President in New Delhi
  • Nepal, China mark 60 years of diplomatic ties
  • Cross-border vehicle permit to go online
  • Thimphu meeting to review plan
  • Nepal signs pact becoming founding member of AIIB
  • Minister Mahat leaving for China to sign AIIB constitution
  • Top UN official arrives
  • EU commissioner to attend donor conference
  • Australia and China sign bumper free trade deal
  • Nepal, India, B'desh, Bhutan ink deal on vehicle movement
  • Bangladesh agrees to simplify visa process
  • Joint Pakistan-China think tank launched
  • Norwegian State Secretary Hoglund Arrives
  • In 14 years ICT has rapidly developed in Afghanistan
  • Obama picks new envoy to Nepal
  • Govt told not to outsource visa processing job
  • Need of the Pertinent Constitution in Nepal by Mr. Jay Nishant (Political Advisor, AIDIA)
  • China to increase financial, technical aid to Nepal
  • AIDIA-Asia Conclave
  • ‘Modi supporter’ resigns from U.S. Congress
  • Indian foreign secy to arrive on April 2
  • Minister Pandey lauds China's peripheral diplomacy
  • Nepal Can be an Economic Hub in South Asia
  • The UK Minister for International Development Desmond Swayne visited Nepal
  • No Objection Letter is Mandatory to prevent Human Trafficking for Nepalese to travel via India
  • AIDIA's Official Magazine, Folio met Ambassador of Srilanka, His Excellency W M Senevirathna
  • Former military official, diplomat of Netherland Mr. Gilbert Monod de and Founder/CEO of OF AIDIA Mr Sunil Kc has signed MOU
  • Founder/CEO of AIDIA and Founder/Chairperson of UN registered Global Think Tank diplomatic council Mr. Andreas Dripke signed MOU
  • Founder/CEO OF AIDIA Mr. Sunil Kc had Bialteral Meeting with Founder/Director of Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) Mr. Mark C Donfried
  • AIDIA Accredited by EDU Intergovernmental Organization
  • 'Power of non-violence': Op-ed published in Kathmandu Post
  • Interview of CEO on Think South Asia Bulletin
  • 'The SAARC Conundrum': Op-ed published in Kathmandu Post by AIDIA staff
  • 'Of Roads, Rails and Transit': Op-ed published on Setopati by AIDIA staff
  • AIDIA, Mid-Western University sign an MoU for collaboration
  • AIDIA in the News:
Past Events
  • Round Table Meeting on Trade and Investment Opportunities in Kazakhstan

    The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) hosted a Round Table Meeting on "Trade and Investment Opportunities in Kazakhstan" in Kathmandu, Nepal. The main objective of the meeting was to discuss and explore new horizons in trading and investing in Kazakhstan, Mr. Sunil K C, CEO, AIDIA stated. He also emphasized on the growing prominence of Kazakhstan in the international arena and briefly stated current status of bilateral relations between Nepal and Kazakhstan.

    The Chief Guest of the event His Excellency Mr. Bulat Sarsenbayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India, started his remarks by stating what a landlocked country is and drew the parallels between Kazakhstan and Nepal. He explained the history and evolution of Kazakhstan and how it has grown after gaining independence from the Soviet Union and stated that attaining stability in the nation was the biggest challenge for them as it is a relatively new nation, only 27 years and has over 100 ethnic groups residing in the nations.

    Ambassador Bulat, explained how students were send abroad to top universities to complete education, who gained wide knowledge and came back to serve the nation. He explained how they have started developing new value-added industries other than the traditional industries including agriculture and mining. The former “breadbasket of the Soviet Union” is the 5th largest exporter of fine quality wheat in the world. He explicated their journey of being a “recipient” to a “donor” of international aid and shed light on the different products that they have been developing and producing both for domestic consume and exporting namely – general electrical, locomotives, vehicles, helicopters and goods for army like armors, etc. He mentioned the rising GDP of Kazakhstan - $13,000, the highest among its neighbors.

    He mentioned that his main aim in this visit is to invite the Finance Minister of Nepal and the Mayors of Kathmandu and Lalitpur to the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Astana. He, on the behalf of the government wants to initiate the development of the bilateral relations with Nepal, which began in 2015 and highlighted various areas of emerging interest where Nepal could invest, like tourism, education, sports and culture. He spoke about the sports arena, which is one among the strongholds of Kazakhstan and sportsperson from different nations like India are utilizing it and are participating there. He also mentioned about the tourists from Kazakhstan who travel to Nepal to explore the nation and also their sportsmen who come to climb the Mount Everest.

    Ambassador Bulat talked about the possibilities of Nepal to trade with Kazakhstan and vice versa and also gave information on the mining industry and the metals they export. He also spoke about the connectivity with ports and explained ways of how to trade and transportation of goods to and from Nepal to Kazakhstan and gave some idea on how they have managed to successfully transport and conduct trade after being a landlocked nation.

    In the event, Mr. Shyam KC, Research and Development Director of AIDIA, emphasized on Nepal and Kazakhstan can expand the cooperation through the regional organization like Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in which Nepal is the dialogue partner.It will be also pragmatic for Nepal to seek full membership of SCO, in which India and China both are the member states, he added.  Similarly, he also stated as Nepal and Kazakstan both are the part of Chinese Belt and Road Initiative project, Nepal can learn from the experience of Kazakhstan.  Importantly, geo-political positioning of both countries is similar as both share the border with great powers and landlocked in nature, Nepal and Kazakhstan can exchange their respective foreign policy approach for balancing the giant neighbors, he stressed.


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  • Round Table Meeting on Nepal Bangladesh Relations: Exploring Trade and Commerce

     The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Nepal jointly hosted a Round Table Meeting on “Nepal-Bangladesh Relations : Exploring Trade and Commerce” on July 1, 2018 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

    The major objectives of the program was to discuss the possible trading arenas between the two countries focusing on connectivity through which trade between the two neighboring countries can flourish and benefit both the parties.

    Mr Shubhashish Bose, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh delivered the key note speech. He spoke about how we are now in a globalized world and as a part of a global community we need to capitalize our resources so that efficient services can be offered to different countries of the world. He focused on the requirement of a uniform system of standardization where people need to be trained in order to provide efficient service to the global community. He mentioned that Bangladesh has 70% of its population who are below the age of 40 and with such huge percentage of young population; Bangladesh has a comparative advantage against other developed countries. These young crowd needs to be channelized in the right manner. Bangladesh’s trade and commercial policies are made to attract FDIs.

    Markets of Nepal and Bangladesh needs to attract more of FDIs as the cost of setting up business is low and comparably easier. Availability of resources in both the countries are at par to lure FDIs hence additional efforts need to be put in by both the nations to establish a strong foothold in South Asia. The Secretary also shed some light into Bangladesh’s GDP which is estimated to be 7.65% this year and if the 7year plan is properly implemented then 80-82% of the STGs can be achieved.

    The Secretary also suggested that there are opportunities for youth of Nepal in their tea estates and tea industry, he admitted to having a difficult time to meet the worldwide tea demands. With regards to tourism he mentioned that both the countries can cooperate to formulate such policies that could offer a joint package to the tourists who can visit both the countries easily. He also mentioned that Nepal could be the chief exporter of commodities like garlic, lentils, cardamom, etc to Bangladesh.

    Pharmaceutical is one sector where Bangladesh is renowned to meet the worldwide demands. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) sector is where the country is inviting investments.

    Lastly, he suggested that the Export Function Bureau of Bangladesh and the same of Nepal could sigh a MoU to better facilitate trade and commerce between the two nations. He also said that both the nations need to cooperate to be self-reliant and support the South Asian market rather than wholly depend on their Western or European counterparts.

    Mr. Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Nepal agreed to the suggestions and recommendations made by Mr. Bose. He emphasized that the population of Nepal has great potential if guided in the right direction and the utilization of the demographic dividend will be in its full form if proper actions taken in the form of education and practice.

    He mentioned that the estimated GDP of Nepal to be 8% this year which is challenging but not impossible. He said that the partnership with our immediate neighbor like Bangladesh is necessary. Liberal policies are necessary regarding tariffs and connectivity. Bangladesh also had great interest in the generation and export of hydropower sector in Nepal.

    He also mentioned that some of the previously discussed agendas like tariff related issues, preferential market access, Rohan Singbad route, simplification of pharmaceutical products, etc will be put into action.

    Finally, he concluded by saying that Nepal would like to grow together with Bangladesh. He says that more mobility means more connectivity which would lead to more prosperity. Also, both the nations need to cooperate in the tri-lateral agreement of India-Nepal-Bangladesh to better facilitate trade and commerce.

    Mr. Hari Bhakta Sharma, President, Confederation of Nepalese Industries says that he is anxious to see the trade agreement happen between both the nations regarding the hydropower sector. He suggests that there is an acute deficiency of infrastructure regarding tourism which needs to be developed to better enhance revenue from tourism industry.

    He suggested that there can be a common visa for Bangladeshi tourists to India and Nepal. He mentions that a lot of things need to be done in future but the most important thing to be done is the immediate implementation of the decisions made.

    In the meeting, H.E. Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal delivered the closing remarks.



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  • National Training/Workshop “International Protocol, Diplomacy and Strategic Relationship Management”

     The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) organized a training titled National Training/Workshop “International Protocol, Diplomacy and Strategic Relationship Management” on 26-27 February, 2018. This course introduced participants to the ceremonial aspect of protocol procedures, behavior of etiquette, professional manners, rules of courteousness in society, and respect for precedence and helping business executives master the basics of etiquette and get a better understanding of multicultural manners within changing scenarios.

    The trainers included Master Trainers from Protocol International Mr. Gilbert Monod de Froideville Career officer at the RNLA, Chief of Royal Protocol, Consul General in the USA, Owner and Director of Protocol International, Consultant, Master Trainer and Lecturer and Mr. Mark Verheul, Head of Protocol of the City of The Hague, Protocol advisor at the Royal Hashemite Court, Protocol assistant at the Protocol bureau and the Royal Household, The Hague.  The other trainers were Mr. Mohan Krishna Shrestha, former Ambassador to France, Permanent Representative to UNESCO and Chief of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Indra Kumar Shrestha, professional trainer and consultant.

    More than 25 trainees including leaders of corporate houses, aspiring professionals, diplomats, and academicians actively participated in the training session.  

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  • 2nd Nepal Bangladesh Business Forum: Beyond Bilateralism: Cooperation for Prosperity

    The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs  (AIDIA) and  Embassy of People’s Republic of Bangladesh

    jointly hosted the second edition of the “Nepal-Bangladesh Business Forum (NBBF)” with a theme “Beyond Bilateralism: Cooperation for Prosperity”

    on 24th February 2018 at Hotel Yak & Yeti, Kathmandu, Nepal.


    The NBBF forum is a bilateral platform policy makers, diplomats, business leaders/ practitioners /experts, entrepreneurs, scholars, media among others to discuss various issues related to bilateral economic cooperation including trade, tourism, connectivity, energy.

    In his welcome remarks, Mr. Sunil KC, Chief Executive Director, AIDIA, recalled the important contribution made by first NBBF of 2016 for strengthening bilateral cooperation and firmly expressed 2nd edition will equally contribute too. Mr. IqbalS obhan Chowdhury, Media Advisor to Hon’able Prime Minister of Bangladesh, delivered the inaugural speech by underlining the strong diplomatic ties and smooth bilateral relations between Nepal and Bangladesh. Even though commerce between Nepal and Bangladesh have steadily increased in the recent past, trade potential and investment opportunities have not been exploited at their maximum, he added, forum like this will contribute to meet such potential.

    The first session comprised of Mr. Jalal Ahmed, Additional Secretary of Government of Bangladesh and Chairperson Nepal, Bangladesh Bank Limited), Dr. Bindu N. Lohani, Former Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank, Mr. Deependra Bahadur Kshetry, Former Governor-Nepal Rastra Bank, and Mr. Purushottam Ojha, Former Secretary of Ministry of Commerce and Supplies), discussed on the session title “Role of Banks in Facilitating Bilateral Trade, Investment and Economic Growth”. Where speakers highlighted the multilateral and bilateral banks have a fundamental role to play to reinforce economic cooperation and integration. In numerous strategic areas where bank involvement is necessary, such as physical connectivity and infrastructure development, trade and investments facilitation through tariff negotiations, assistance in financial market expansion and cooperation on public goods provision, they focused on.

    The second session has focused on the expansion of Bangladesh-Nepal connectivity with comprising Mr. Ananta Acharya , Director General, Department of Railways, Mr. Ali Ahmed, CEO, Bangladesh Foreign Trade Instituteand Mr. Shyam KC , Research and Development Director, AIDIA stressed Nepal and Bangladesh thoroughly need to explore the efficient connectivity corridor as well as port facilities. The reasons of low level of trade between the two countries have been drawn up the supply and demand mismatch and insufficient connectivity infrastructures. Bilateral and regional transit agreements must be pushed up in order to promote trade and business. Roads network, rail infrastructure and sea port access enhancement are the key for a strengthened economic cooperation.

    In her closing remarks, H.E. Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal said taking into account about the complaints of business community and entrepreneurs we decided to focus on banking and connectivity issue in second edition of NBBF. She added, if these sectors represent the main improvement priorities, they also demonstrate the growing trades and businesses interests between Nepal and Bangladesh. She emphasized  on the role, importance and continuationsuch forum to solve trade issues and strengthen the economic ties between two countries.


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  • Round Table Meeting on "Nepal-Zambia Relations: The Future Ahead"

    The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and The High Commission Republic of Zambia, New Delhi

    jointly hosted the Round Table meeting on

    “Nepal- Zambia Relation: The Future Ahead”

    at Hotel Yak and Yeti, Kathmandu, Nepal


    In his welcome remarks, Mr. Sunil KC, Chief Executive Director, AIDIA, stated that the major objective of the Round Table meeting was to discuss on finding opportunities for exploring bilateral trade and investment in Zambia.  

    H. E. Mrs. Judith K.K Kang’goma Kapijimpanga, The High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia to Nepal, delivered the keynote speech, by a general presentation with the geographical, economic and political aspects of the country. Thus, she shared that Zambia and Nepal present similarities as they both are high-altitude and landlocked (or “land-linked”) countries. Official relations between the two States are quite ancient as they were both members of the Non-Aligned Movement. Thus, the previous Nepalese kings have visited Zambia several times.

     Zambia is a mineral-wealthy country and ranked eighth in world as copper producer and has 6% of the world reserve.  Zambia have 20% of cobalt and emerald world reserve and its Emeralds are considered to be world’s best.

    She further stressed that both Zambia and Nepal have Agriculture and tourism as major source of national economy. So, these sector provides an enormous opportunity to explore and invest.  So both countries can exploit this avenue for betterment of bilateral trade relation.  There are other opportunities of investment in both countries such as Transportation, telecommunications and Education. 

    She highlighted that Zambian economic characteristics is in favor of Foreign Investment as it has political stability and growing economy. Zambia which is also a gateway to Southern, Central and Eastern Africa, can become important market.  Zambia economy is integrated and it’s a member of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

    While delivering the special remarks in the program, Mr. Ganesh Shah, Former Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, stressed that both countries should explore the possible avenues for betterment of enhancing bilateral trade relation between two countries. Similarly Mr. Bishnu Hari Nepal, Former ambassador of Nepal to Japan too stress on exploring possibilities of investment in different sector such as Mining, Education and Agriculture.  Mr. Sunil KC, CEO of AIDIA, requested business community of Nepal to explore the opportunity in Zambia.


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  • Interaction Session on "Trade and Investment Opportunities in Tajikistan"

    Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Karobar National Economic Daily

    jointly hosted an Interactive Session on,

    Trade and Investment Opportunities in Tajikistan” 

    At TBI Plaza, Gairidhara, Kathmandu.


    In his welcome address Managing Director of the TBI Group, Mr. Shisheer Bhatta highlighted the importance and the potential areas of trade and investment in Tajikistan. Mr. Bhatta stressed on the need to cooperation between the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) of Nepal & Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tajikistan. This institutional mechanism will work as a bridge between the industries, traders etc. in the two countries.


    H.E. Mirzosharif Jololov, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan to Nepal, delivered the keynote speech. Sharing the Tajik experiences on how the country focused on its social and economic agenda after achieving independence from the erstwhile Soviet Union followed by five years of political turmoil from 1992-1997. Despite several political and social turmoil in the past, Tajikistan has achieved a record 99.97% literacy rate, one of the highest in the world. He further mentioned that Tajikistan is ranked eighth in the world in terms of potential hydropower resources, with its current installed capacity of more than 5000MW. As Nepal has a huge hydro potential, cooperation on this line between the two countries will enhance productivity and technical exchanges. He also pointed that Tajikistan is a major tourist destination and it received 2,00,000 visitors in 2013 to 5,00,000 in 2017. The mighty Himalayas, rich socio-cultural underpinnings being the biggest assets of Nepal, can be another area of cooperation for the two countries in sharing experience and building linkages between tourism entrepreneurs.


    While delivering the special remarks in the program, Mr. Ganesh Shah, Former Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, stressed that both countries with huge hydropower potential should exchange the experiences in highest level possible. He further added that optimum electricity generation can boost the industrialization of Nepal and experiences of Tajikistan itself can be the lesson for Nepal. He suggested on promoting Track II diplomacy between Nepal and Tajikistan. Similarly, Mr. Sunil KC, CEO of AIDIA invited the business community of Nepal to explore various dimensions of business opportunity in Tajikistan and assured to facilitate the same at the institutional capacity.


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  • Round Table Meeting on “Prospects and Challenges on Nepal-India-Bangladesh Trilateral Co-operation”


    Kathmandu, December 4, 2017- The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Embassy of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Nepal jointly hosted the Round Table Meeting on “Prospects and Challenges on Nepal-India-Bangladesh Trilateral Co-operation” in Kathmandu, Nepal.    

    The major objectives of the program was to discuss the prospects and challenges of economic cooperation amidst Nepal-India-Bangladesh  and recommend the policy priority to all respective governments to promote mutually inclusive economic benefits.

    Dr. Gowher Rizvi, International Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, delivered the keynote speech. Dr. Rizvi talked about ‘ignored proximity’ by the member states and stressed on promoting commonalities is the first step towards trilateral and regional cooperation. Dr. Rizvi also acknowledged that as a major economic giant of the region India should play the important role to give the real impetus for the trilateral and regional co-operation. He also focused on energy cooperation, and added problem of adequate energy is the major impediments of inclusive economic growth of the region. In order to take the optimum advantage of our proximity, connectivity should be the central part of our effort, Dr. Rizvi said. He also talked about the need of exploring Mongla and Chittagong port, as Bangladesh has already provided Nepal to use those port facilities. Moreover, he also talked about promoting spiritual tourism and importance of cooperation in the area like climate change. Most importantly, Dr. Rizvi expressed the need of ‘high-level well prepared dialogue’ between Bangladesh-India-Nepal and said he will take this idea to Dhaka.           

    In special remarks, Mr. Chandra Kumar Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Government of Nepal, while agreeing on most of the area touched by Dr. Rizvi, stressed connectivity should be prioritized to promote cross-border economic activities. Mr. Ghimire emphasized, on the importance of mobilizing total strength and he said ‘word should not be limited in document’ – together we need to act for the concrete action.


    During the meeting, representative from different diplomatic missions, policy experts, academicians, business persons, government authorities, media persons among other concern stakeholders actively participated in the discussion.  


    In the meeting, H.E. Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal delivered the welcome remarks. In closing remarks, the CEO of AIDIA, Mr. Sunil KC, expressed his gratitude to the distinguished speakers and guests and said that respective governments should seriously engage in the promotion of trilateral cooperation and he promised to continue to organize such forums for healthy discourse aiming to contribute mutually beneficial relations. 



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  • Round Table Meeting on Nepal China India Trilateral Cooperation

    Nepal needs Balanced  and Sound Relation with Both Neighbors


    Nepal must have a balanced and sound relationship with both of its immediate neighbours to enjoy maximum benefits from the progress and prosperity made by the emerging economic giants, participants of an interaction said Monday.

    Addressing an interaction entitled, "Trilateral Cooperation Between Nepal-India-China: Prospects and Perplexities", the participants said with the rapid economic progress, two neighbours, China and India, were trying to expand their influence and reach in the region and beyond.

    The programme, hosted by AIDIA, saw the key speaker from the India based think-tank, Centre for China Analysis and Strategy (CCAS), making a key note speech on the importance of trilateral cooperation among Nepal, India and China and the emerging new power equation in the South Asian and Indo-Pacific regions.

    New aspirations in China and India are sure to give rise to new power equation and equilibrium in the regions. With India and China engaging in border dispute, time appears to be very fluid in South Asia, said said Jayadev Ranade, President of Centre for China Analysis and Strategy (CCAS), a New Delhi based think tank.  "It would be, therefore, imperative for Nepal to maintain balanced relation without playing one neighbour against other," Ranade added.

    Bishnu Hari Nepal, former ambassador to Japan, said that Nepal should attempt to take maximum benefit from China through its ever increasing trade, development in technology, transport and other sectors while the country should deepen its relationship with India by utilising its cultural and social relationship with the southern neighbour.

    Nepal also suggested that China and India should focus more on economic cooperation rather than engaging in border dispute.

    Another key speaker, former finance minister Madhukar Shumsher Rana, said that Nepal should act as an economic corridor for China and India.  He opined that Nepal should engage in China's Belt and Road Intiative to reap maximum benefits from the connectivity it would offer to her. Since One Belt, One Road is one of the greatest development drives in the history of the world, Nepal must attempt to take benefit from it, he suggested.

    Gyanedra Lal Pradhan, treasurer at FNCCI, and Chairman of Energy Promotion Committee, said that investment from China is easily accessible in Nepal which is why Nepal's involvement in OBOR had appeared lucrative. However, Nepal must seek to gain from its close relationship with India in the trade, technology and hydropower sector urging the southern neighbour to expedite infrastructure development.

    Namrata Hasija, a research associate at CCAS, presented a paper on South Asia and BRI. The paper threw light on the Chinese investments under the BRI in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


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  • Preparatory meeting on half-day symposium on “Understanding and Promoting Nepal’s Science Diplomacy”

    Chairperson: Hon’ble Ganesh Shah, Former Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Nepal

    Meeting Agenda Presenter: Mr. Shyam KC, R & D Director, AIDIA

    Distinguished Speakers:

    Prof. Dr. Jiba Raj Pokharel, Vice-Chancellor, NAST

    Dr. Sunil Babu Shrestha, Member, NPC

    Prof. Dr. Rameshwar Adhikari, Executive Director, RECAST

    Prof. Dr. Promod K. Jha, Academician, NAST

    Dr. Tek Bahadur Gurung, Director, Livestock& Fisheries, NARC

    Mr. Manjeet Dhakal, LDC Senior Policy Analyst, CLIMATE ANALYTICS

    Mr. Sunil KC, CEO, AIDIA

    AIDIA organized the preparatory meeting on 25 August, 2017 at Dining Park, Kathmandu on purposed half-day symposium on “Understanding and Promoting Nepal’s Science Diplomacy” set be hosted by AIDIA and RECAST jointly. The following major concerns and issues were raised during the meeting.

    • Science diplomacy very supportive for easing the tensions and promoting the harmonious inter-state relations, Nepal should seriously work on this regards.

    • Promotion of Energy, Space, and Nuclear Technology should be placed in highest priority for Nepal to be promoted under science diplomacy.

    • Nepali scientists are equally capable in promoting science and technology but administrative and political structure most of the time has remained as the impediments rather that facilitators. • Politicization of research institute is regarded as one of the internal challenges on the promotion of science and technology.

    • Strong synchronization is needed between political diplomacy and science diplomacy in order to strengthen the weak diplomatic lobbying of Nepal and to promote science diplomacy. • Nepal is practicing high-level of political engagement and low level of engagement in science and technology.

    • There are hundreds of existing MOUs on various scientific research institution, but one of major problem is very few are implemented and executed, which must be response properly.

    • There is the urgent need capacity building program on science diplomacy to be develop and provided to the scientist and science community, so that Nepal can gain the maximum mutual benefits from international scientific cooperation.

    • Creating effective interlinkages between science and diplomacy is crucial for development and prosperity of Nepal.

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  • Nepal Foreign Policy Conference 2017

    The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) - foreign policy think-tank based in Kathmandu, in Cooperation with Mid-Western University successfully hosted conference on "Revisiting Nepal's Foreign Policy in Contemporary Global Power Structure” on April 1, 2017 in Yak and Yeti Hotel Kathmandu. The conference is jointly inaugurated by three former ministers of Nepal Mr. Ramesh Naath Pandey, Prof. Madhukar SJB Rana and Mr Surendra Pandey.   

    “The chief objective of the conference was to revisit the Nepal’s foreign policy in reference to the contemporary remaking of international order, the global power shifts to Asia, reshuffling of the global balance of power, the rise of China and India and its impact on Nepal’s foreign policy” told Mr. Shyam KC, Research and Development Director of AIDIA and to . The conference made a discussion on six thematic sessions.

    More than thirty plus speaker from inside and outside the country forward their speech including foreign policy experts, academician, seasoned diplomats, politician, international experts, foreign dignitaries and other scholars along with more than 250 distinguished participants.

    “We will soon develop and publish the report of the conference and share with the Ministry of Foreign Affair and with all other concern stake holders, which we strongly believe will serve as a reference to the government of Nepal for enhancing clarity and developing pragmatic foreign policy in preset context of international power structure”said, Mr. Sunil KC, CEO of AIDIA.’

    Foreign Secretary, Mr Shanker Das Bairagi, Former Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Former Foreign Secretary Madhu Raman Acharya chair the respective session. Industry Minister, Hon’ble Nabindra Raj Joshi forwarded the concluding remarks on the conference.



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  • Round Table meeting on “Opportunities and Challenges on Alternative Energy Investment in Nepal”

    The Round Table Meeting on “Opportunities and Challenges on Alternative Energy Investment in Nepal” was jointly hosted by Asian Institute of Diplomacy & International Affairs (AIDIA) and Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (GoN, Ministry of Population and Environment) on 31 January, 2017 in Kathmandu. Minister of Population and Environment, Hon. Jay Dev Joshi, was the chief guest of the meeting and other distinguished experts and representative related to alternative energy sector were presented.

    The meeting made the comprehensive rational analysis about the opportunities and challenges on alternative energy investment in Nepal as per its intended objectives. Issues like renewable energy (RE) promotion and investment policy of Nepal, pros and cons of government subsidy program in RE, barriers like high upfront-cost and high level of technological requirement, role of academicians and think tanks on solving alternative energy investment's barriers in Nepal, role of FDI in RE promotion among others were discussed in the meeting.

    H.E. Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal and Shree N. Ram Prasad, First Secretary (Commerce Wing) from Embassy of India shared their respective countries’ experiences promoting alternative energy investment. They further expressed their interest to collaborate for technical as well as policy level expert sharing.

    Former Minister of Environment, Science & Technology, Hon. Ganesh Shah highlighted about the significance of research and development and suggested at least 1% of total renewable energy budget should be invest on R&D, most of the speakers and participants agreed in it. Dr. Bishwa Nath Oli, Secretary, Ministry of Population and Environment, promised to take the agenda forward. 

    An academician, Dr. Shree Raj Shakya, shared that there is the urgent need that academic institutes should make shift from the technical to research based, which is necessary to connect researcher with industries.Furthermore, emphasized in technology diversification in order to meet the multiple service demand of the consumers.

    The major barriers highlightedby Mr. Sambaddha Pradhan,Project Development Engineer at SunFarmer Nepal, was lack of technology awareness, high initial investmentand the biggest problem right now is irregular subsidy policy for promoting the alternative energy in rural system.

    The Secretary, Dr Bishwa Nath Oli, shared that providing subsidy is not the ultimate solution for promoting renewable energy so as optional solution governments have already established the renewable energy fund to provide the credit facilities for promoting renewable energy technologies in the country.

    The Chief Guest of the meeting, Hon. Minister Jay Dev Joshi, urge every concern stakeholders for working closer with government to increase investment on alternative energy sector in order to fulfill the rising demand of energy and to support on environment protection.

    As concluding remarks, Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), Mr. Ram Prasad Dhital briefed the APEC role and strategy to increase the share of alternative energy resources on total energy demand of the country, as Nepal is aiming for 10% share by 2030. Further, he shared that AEPC is formulating battery less grid-solar connected system.




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  • Interaction Program with Ethiopian Ambassador to South Asia

    Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Asian Institute of Diplomacy & International Affairs (AIDIA) jointly organized an interaction program with H.E. Mr. Asfaw Dingamo, the ambassador of Ethiopia to South Asia at FNCCI Secretariat, Teku on 22nd December 2016.

    In the interaction program, H.E. Asfaw shared the experiences of Ethiopian Economic Development. He told that both Ethiopia and Nepal are landlocked countries with similarities in multiple ethnicities, agrarian economy, huge hydropower potentiality, diverse biodiversity, rich history and with similar experience of conflict in the past. He described on how Ethiopia became successful in getting double digit economic growth for more than a decade. H.E. Dingamo, the former Ethiopian Water Minister, further shared successful Ethiopian experience of attracting huge FDI and possibility of hydropower generation in Ethiopia without foreign investment. The Ambassador floated the Ethiopian experiences that political stability and unity among diversity is the key to the economic prosperity.

    The program, chaired by Gyanendra Lal Pradhan, Chairperson of Energy Committee of FNCCI was concluded with the commitment for continuous collaboration for mutual benefits. Members of FNCCI and staffs of AIDIA were participated in the interaction program.

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  • Seminar on- P.M. Dahals India Visit: Impact on Bilateral Trade, Business and Investment

    The seminar on “PM Dahal’s India Visit: Impact on Bilateral Trade, Business and Investment” was held at Hotel Yak & Yeti in Kathmandu. The seminar was organized by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA), a foreign policy think-tank body based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The seminar was organized with an objective to discuss the outcomes of the recent PM’s visit to India. For More see below:

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  • Roundtable meeting on "Prospects and Challenges of Hydropower Education in Nepal"

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  • Emerging Entrepreneurship Forum 2016

    Emerging Entrepreneurs Forum, 2016 was successfully organized by Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) in association with YL Nepal on 16, July, 2016. The main objective of the program was to provide opportunity for youth to make a difference by realizing their full potential and discuss and interact with the experts from different sectors which will help in enhancing their existing knowledge and ideas.


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  • The Second Himalayas Forum

    The Second Himalayas Forum “Prospects for Nepal, India, Bangladesh Trilateral Economic Partnership” was successfully organized by Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) on 22 June, 2016.

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  • AIDIA-JSIA Youth Exchange Summit 20-24 June 2016

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  • The Changing Context of International Relations in 21st Century: A guest lecture by Dr. Sreeram Chaulia


    AIDIA Youth Engagement Series

    The Changing Context of International Relations in the 21st Century: A discussion

    Apollo International College, Kathmandu, 31st May 2016


    Prof. Dr. Sreeram Sundar Chaulia discusses about the relation of Business, Diplomacy and International Affairs and also introduced about the diverse courses of O.P. Jindal Global University.


    Organized by:

    Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA)

    Apollo International College, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu


    A part of AIDIA’s Student Engagement Series


    Report Prepared by:

    Mr Sakar Aryal

    Ouutreach Intern,

    Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) 


     A report on guest lecture on Business-Diplomacy and International Relations by Prof. Dr. Sreeram Sundar Chaulia

    The guest lecture on ‘Business-Diplomacy and International Relations’ was successfully organized by AIDIA in association with Apollo International College on May 30, 2016 at the premises of Apollo International College, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu which witnessed an enthusiastic response and participation from the students of final year (7th semester), BBA. The relation between Business-Diplomacy and International Affairs is one of the heated topic in the business world today and AIDIA felt that it would be very fruitful topic to be discussed with the final year students which will help to understand not only the current affairs but also to pursue their career in the international arena. The speaker for the program was Prof. Dr. Sreeram Sundar Chaulia, Professor and Dean, O.P. Jindal Global University, Delhi NCR, New Delhi, India.

    The session began with Mr. Narendra Bista (Team Member, AIDIA) providing some brainstorming ideas on Diplomacy and International Affairs. He then provided some basic knowledge on diplomacy and introduced AIDIA and Dr. Sreeram Chaulia and welcomed him on the stage. Dr. Chaulia began his lecture by quoting important things on Business- Diplomacy and International Affairs.

    Dr. Chaulia initiated the session by introducing specifically about business, diplomacy, international relations and their relative importance. He then focused on the current International Issues as why the price of petroleum products has gone down and why the middle-east countries are now afraid and finding very difficult to sustain their economy. USA also started selling petroleum products which has created havoc in the middle-east economy during the past two years. The price of oil per barrel is now $35 so the middle-east countries are not able to export in this price and are losing their market place. Similarly, he also said that middle-east countries such as Iran is also losing fair amount of power due to the fall in oil prices. Dr. Chaulia then shifted his focus towards risks. He elaborated various types of risks such as business, political, environment etc. As a business person you will have to take decision to invest in a certain place, that is called risk, but business person tend to calculate those risks and then only takes decisions. He further elaborated political risk by quoting ‘you cannot go and invest in Syria just because someone offers you land in a very cheap price.’

    Dr. Chaulia then introduced O.P. Jindal University to the students. He explained about MA (DLB) program and how it is very much diverse than the other courses that are being taught. MA (Diplomacy, Business and Law) is the degree that is intended to be neither a totally academic nor a fully vocational one. It stresses theoretical research but insists on relating it to empirically rich phenomena from the social world. MA (DLB)’s structure and course curriculum are designed in such a way that it breaks down the artificial barriers between Law, International Relations and Business Studies. The MA (DLB) program will train students to become experts of the politics, economics and legal systems of the entire world, rather than limited area specialists who have little inkling of happenings and developments outside their chosen regions. The faculty members manning the program are researchers of world class quality who are already researching and publishing on many of the abovementioned emerging areas. This ensures that the program is on top of the fast morphing international landscape and will remain one step ahead as a thought leader in hybrid social science. He further added that this program is creating more job opportunities as it ranges from business to diplomacy, politics to international relations, research to law and there is significant no. of scholarships available for Nepali students.  

    Dr. Chaulia concluded his speech by saying don’t let yourself be limited to only one knowledge, let yourself flourish in every sector which influences business. MBA is designed to focus on only one specific issue where you will be employed on only one department and will not be able to reach to the top. To reach to the top you need to have knowledge of contemporary issues as well as analyze those issues to create favorable strategies. There are various embassies and diplomatic missions in a country and they require qualified local people to analyze and prepare a report on the current issues of the country, which cannot be done with MBA so you need a more diverse subject like MA (DLB). PM oli will have to face Modi, Obama will have to face Putin. To reach to the top you need to analyze these issues and find out the outcome these issues create in the business world.

    The lecture was followed by the Q and A session where most of the questions asked about the university and the program which Dr. Chaulia handled tactfully. But one question was about international issue and was the highlight to everyone.

    “Is USA losing its power? What will be the International Strategy of Nepal in upcoming years?”

    Upon answering this question he said,” Yes America is definitely losing power. China has now overtaken US as the biggest economy in the world and this will continue in years to come. US have no complete dominance in everything currently and also losing in various other sectors. But US still has the strongest military force, 20 times bigger than that of China and China will not be able to match US for many years. To move ahead of US, China have now started constructing ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)’ with the investment of $46 Billion which will not only improve the diplomatic and trade relation of China and Pakistan but also boost the economy of both countries.  

    As for Nepal, it can act as the player of the powers. It can play China, India and US. The Scandinavian countries act as the mediator of powers among Germany, France, England etc. Nepal can also play the similar role and boost itself. In the years to come, let’s say in 2030, there will only be three powerful countries, USA, China and India. US will not be sitting alone in the table; instead it also has to arrange the chair for China and India. Just like G20 and G7 nowadays there will only be G3. There are only two possibilities for developing countries, either they quarrel among themselves and let other countries take advantage of them or they become strong and be the player of powerful countries. I hope the former doesn’t happen to Nepal and let’s see a united Nepal which plays the big countries.”   

    Finally, Mr. Narendra Bista concluded the session by delivering a motivation speech. Just like a carpenter makes a valuable furniture of piece of wood or an architect makes a unique design of the same wood, we are here to add colors in your life, take this program as an opportunity to enhance your knowledge on the different subjects and don’t assume it as a promotion of any university or its program. After completion of the program we asked about the opinion of the participants about the program, Mr. Bibhu Raj Poudel said,” foreign affairs is one of the talked about subject in the current scenario and we are very much delighted to have attained the session and to find out what was happening around the world. Business students should also focus towards political and international issues if they are to be success in their fields and I think the program of Jindal University is exactly what we are looking for, I would like to know more about the program and its benefits.”

    © Copyright 2016-17 by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, all rights reserved. All materials appearing in the above report may not be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher and in no case for profit.

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  • A guest lecture on political environment for economic development




    AIDIA Youth Engagement Series

    Political Environment for economic prosperity in Nepal: A discussion

    Radio Mirmire Building, Anamnagar, Kathmandu, 21st May 2016


    1.  Introduction – AIDIA

    The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) is an independent, non-partisan foreign policy think-tank based in the highly geo-strategic Himalayan region. It’s headquarter is Kathmandu Nepal. AIDIA aims to lead a new era in foreign policy and international relations and reflects the unstoppable rise of the Asian continent as the key stakeholder in the economic, strategic and geo-political equations of the present day world.

    AIDIA provides a platform for policy makers, academicians and industry leaders from around the world to come together to debate, discuss and share their views on the contemporary geopolitical and geo-economics issues confronting the international community. We seek to do this by facilitating effective engagement through the various activities in order to inform, educate and initiate the involvement of Nepal's youth in foreign policy debates and decision-making. AIDIA is actively engaged in providing policy analysis, facilitating diplomatic dialogue and promoting entrepreneurial engagement among all major actors and institutions native to or that have an interest in Asia.


    2.    Introduction – Smart Club

    Smart club envisions a platform of learning, growing, improving and exercising leadership excellence by continuous participation of youth. It is collective effort that promotes our future to be democratic, encouraging to independent thinking, and tolerant of diversity.
    Smar Club is a Leadership Development Academy of youth.


    3.    Project Report

    The Guest Lecture on ‘Political environment of Nepal for Economic Prosperity in Nepal’ was successfully organized by AIDIA in association with Smart Club on May 21, 2016 at SambadDabali, Radio Mirmire Building, 3rd floor, Anamnagar, Kathmandu which witnessed an enthusiastic response and participation from students and youth from different sectors. Political environment and economic progress, both are interrelated with every aspect of Nepal and AIDIA and Smart Club felt that it would be a very relevant subject for today’s youth. The speaker for the session was Mr. Jay Nishant, Parliament Program Director and Core Member of Millennium Challenge Corporation, USA

    The session began with Mr. Uttam Paudel (Secretary of Smart Club) giving an introduction of Smart Club, AIDIA and Mr. Jay Nishant and welcomed the guest on the stage. Mr. Nishant initiated his lecture in a positive way and made it very clear that he will not make it a class rather he wants it to be interactive and participative.

    Mr. Nishant first shared his experiences of working with a wide range of stakeholders, including but not limited to politicians, development activists, youth, academics and so on. He further went on to mention how the political arithmetic too was changing with the changing times. Amongst the subjects raised was the subject of increased female participation in politics and how the constitution guaranteed one-third female participation in parliament. Interestingly, the participants raised some suspicions at this point. They were sceptical whether the women who had now entered the corridors of power were actually interested in and committed to politics or were there just because of the pervasive nepotism and favouritism that exists in Nepali society. In response to this, Mr. Nishant also shared similar concerns, as he illustrated how politicians had been exploiting the system to ensure their influence by selecting their wives and relatives as parliamentarians.

    He then dived into the three major focuses of the session which are described hereafter.

    a. The role in Nepal and why it is of constitution so emphasized in the present context.

    ‘Why is it that countries such as UK and Israel, which have no written constitution, are so developed and our country, which has changed seven constitutions in the last sixty-five years so lagging behind in development?’ A question as important as this demands a critical analysis of the whole purpose of a constitution. Here, the participants re-assessed their notions and conceptions regarding the constitution one more time after listening to Mr. Nishant and taking part in the discussions that his arguments engendered.

    Speaking on the other theme of the day, economic prosperity, he demonstrated how depending on constitution as the panacea for all ills and regarding it as final ‘writing on the wall’ had stunted Nepalese development over all these years. The political turmoil and the environment it created made the citizens believe that constitution was the solution to all the economic hardships the country was facing. However, after all this time, we have not seen any significant economic progress in the country. He thus linked it as nothing but a ploy of politicians to frame us into thinking that we will stride leaps of prosperity once we have a constitution.

    But Mr. Nishant was not totally dismissive of the constitution though and called it the base of democratic economic development. To get a perfect summary of what the participants thought about the importance of the constitution after the session, a participant, Mr. Bipin Rimal, 17, was asked about what he thinks is the role of constitution in economic advancement. To this he replied, ‘Just as Mr. Nishant said, constitution is the soul of a democracy; it sets a system and that system is responsible for development. Constitution is not everything but it is a very important thing.

    b. Is political instability a scapegoat created by the political class to cover their incompetence and failures?

    When Mr. Nishant asked what the most necessary pre-requisite for economic development was, the participants unanimously replied that it was ‘political stability.’ He, however, gave the examples of countries like Japan and Turkey, where MPs often engage themselves in outrageous fights in parliament and where ministers and high ranking administrators are frequently charged with corruption. He gave the audience enough examples to illustrate the fact that without a stable government or even in a turbulent situation, nations can prosper economically.

    “We have always blamed unstable politics for the lack of development in each and every sector of the country, but history tells us and present shows us that countries can be developed even amidst political turbulence”, Mr. Nishant quipped. In fact, from the vigorous discussions that followed these assertions, the members finally came to realise that what was most important for economic prosperity was not political instability or youth involvement or even transparent administration but the real will to change and prosper.

    When coupled with some brilliant examples of the current scenario, we arrived at the next heading ‘What Nepal really needs for economic progress.’

    c. What Nepal really needs for economic progress?

    ‘Even if there was a probable corruption of a sum as huge as twenty billion, we must have let the Fast Track be constructed.’

    It is not often that someone makes a claim as bold as this. Mr. Nishant then went on to back his claim with adequate reasoning. He first pointed out that the benefits of the Fast Track, ranging from the economic to cultural, would have far outweighed the cost and, whatever the cost, we would have a highway like none other in South Asia. Fear of corruption—laughable in a way because we are already amongst the most corrupt countries in the world—the extraneous nationalism and political brainwashing have halted many development projects and discouraged many investors in our country.

    Why does this happen? The participants and Mr. Nishant arrived at the conclusion that development, especially economic development, has never been a top agenda for the governments and political parties in Nepal. ‘Their sole aim is to gain power and retain power,’ as he so realistically mentioned.

    Unless the political parties and clusters, whatever their differences, unite for a single common final mission, i.e. economic prosperity, Nepal will lag behind in development and poverty will continue to be our identity.

    Mr. Nishant left the stage with a powerful message. On the occasion of Buddha Purnima, he gave us a challenge, suggestion and advice. ‘We shout everywhere that we are the country of Mt. Everest, which was formed 50 million years ago, and we shout that we are the country of Buddha, who was born 2600 years ago. This is the way how we introduce ourselves to the world, but, proud as it may seem, this is also a shameful reminder that in the last 2600 years we have done nothing that can make us known to the world. The challenge is to the youth to create a new mark of Nepalese identity.’


    Kathmandu, the 21st May, 2016




    Political Environment for economic prosperity in Nepal: A discussion






    Official banner for the event



    Student Participants at the event


    Mr. Nishant speaking at the event

    Speaker for the program being facilitated by the organizers


    © Copyright 2016-17 by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, all rights reserved.All materials appearing in the above report may not be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher and in no case for profit.

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  • PM Oli's India Visit: Present Status of Trade, Transit, Business and Investment





    AIDIA Asia Conclave 2016

    PM Oli’s Visit to India: Trade, Transit, Business and Investment Opportunities

    Hotel Annapurna, Kathmandu, 21st March 2016


    1.    Abstract

    The programme was meant for businesspersons, diplomats, policymakers, politicians and analysts including those who are keen to follow developments related to India-Nepal relations. Nepal and India sealed a seven-point deal during a meeting between Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. These nine agreements and Letters of Exchange that are incorporated in a seven point deal are on a wide range of bilateral issues, including energy trade, transit facilities, cultural exchanges as well as road construction and post-earthquake reconstruction support. It is of prime significance to have discussed and debated the outcomes of the PM’s visit and AIDIA Asia Conclave 2016 attempted to accomplish the same.


    2.    Introduction – AIDIA

    The Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) is an independent, non-partisan foreign policy think-tank based in the highly geo-strategic Himalayan region. It’s headquarter is Kathmandu Nepal. AIDIA aims to lead a new era in foreign policy and international relations and reflects the unstoppable rise of the Asian continent as the key stakeholder in the economic, strategic and geo-political equations of the present day world.

    AIDIA provides a platform for policy makers, academicians and industry leaders from around the world to come together to debate, discuss and share their views on the contemporary geopolitical and geo-economics issues confronting the international community. We seek to do this by facilitating effective engagement through the various activities in order to inform, educate and initiate the involvement of Nepal's youth in foreign policy debates and decision-making. AIDIA is actively engaged in providing policy analysis, facilitating diplomatic dialogue and promoting entrepreneurial engagement among all major actors and institutions native to or that have an interest in Asia.


    3.    Introduction – Embassy of India at Kathmandu

    Indian Embassy opened in Kathmandu in December, 1947. Shri Surjit Singh Majithia was the first Ambassador of India to Nepal from 1947 to 1949. Till date there have been 22 Ambassadors and Shri Ranjit Rae is the 23rd Ambassador of India to Nepal. Till 1954, the present President’s Residence (Shital Niwas) was the Embassy of India. It was in 1954 that the Embassy of India was shifted to its present location at Lainchor. At the moment, the entire Embassy offices are located within the same premise.


    4.    Introduction – NICCI

    Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) is a non-governmental organization with the legal status of a non-profit making and autonomous entity. It was formed with ad-hoc Committee in 1993 and registered with District Administration office, Kathmandu on August 29, 1994 (13 Bhadra 2051).


    Since the Chamber is a bi-national organization of Nepalese businessmen and industrialists having business relations with India and Indian business community doing business with Nepal, the primary aim of NICCI is to promote Joint Venture Investment and economic relations between Nepal and India through the good bilateral relations and co-operation subsisting between the two countries. NICCI also helps Indian companies to find partners for trade and manufacture in Nepal. It is a forum to discuss and resolve problems and issues faced by the member organizations, and it also represents them to appropriate authorities to work on industry-related issues.


    Presently, it has 167 members from leading Nepalese and Indian companies and Indian Joint Venture companies. It is the only body established in Nepal for the mutual benefit of India and Nepal in terms of trade and commerce.


    5.    The Programme – AIDIA-Asia Conclave

    AIDIA-Asia conclave is the premier program of the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA), which will be held once in every two months. It is a premier gathering of the high profile politicians, businesspersons and diplomats from Asia to talk on regional issues. The prime objective of the conclave is to provide a platform for discussion and debate on regional issues pertaining to Asia. AIDIA-Asia Conclave attempts to gather diplomats and politicians from different Asian countries for discussion and debate on topics that are relevant and timely. Nepal is a focal point in this regard from which one member is always a part of the debate and discussion. AIDIA Asia Conclave can be an influential catalyst, which aids to solve problems arising at a particular time in collaboration with the impressive ideas and vision of SAARC members. Cooperation among Asian countries will help to achieve immensely untapped potential of the people in the region. The conclave will act as a bridge to share ideas and vision of some of the most influential and esteemed personalities, which can help in building future partnerships and links for mutual development.


    AIDIA provides an opportunity to speak on regional issues in the conclave and attempts to make the debate and discussion fruitful by highlighting innovative solutions to pressing problems facing the region. Our objective is to strengthen the social, economic and political ties between Nepal and other countries in Asia.


    6.    The Project Rationale – PM Oli’s India Visit: Trade, Transit, Business and Investment Opportunities

    Nepal and India sealed a seven-point deal during a meeting between Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. These nine agreements and Letters of Exchange that are incorporated in a seven point deal are on a wide range of bilateral issues, including energy trade, transit facilities, cultural exchanges as well as road construction and post-earthquake reconstruction support. It is of prime significance to have discussed and debated the outcomes of the PM’s visit and AIDIA Asia Conclave 2016 attempted to accomplish the same.


    The two prime ministers among other things inaugurated the 400 KV Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line for supply of Indian electricity to Nepal under an Indian credit line of US$ 13.5 million, signed an Memorandum of Understanding on utilisation of a US$ 250 million grant component of India for post-quake reconstruction which was pledged during the donors’ conference for four identified sectors (housing, health, education and cultural heritage) and signed another MoU related to strengthening the road infrastructure in the Tarai.


    Similarly, two LoEs on transit routes were exchanged to simplify traffic of goods between Nepal and Bangladesh while transiting via India; and utilisation of Vishakhapatnam Port of India. Besides, two other LoEs, allowing rail transport to and from Vishakhapatnam to Nepal and to operationalise rail transit facility through Singabad of India for Nepal-Bangladesh trade were exchanged.


    These agreements apart from others signed in the areas of culture and heritage signify an invaluable opportunity that the two nations encounter with regard to forging ever closer ties. Significantly, the impetus that will be provided to trade and business opportunities by better connectivity will have unparalleled benefits for development of Nepal’s economy. The access to Visakhapatnam port and operationalization of the railway line to Bangladesh in this regard are of major importance as these will not just enhance the volume of trade between the two countries but will also improve third country trade for Nepal. It is AIDIA’s firm belief that good neighbourly relations between Nepal and India can have multi-faceted advantages for economic growth and development and this program will be provide a thrust in that direction.


    7.    Project Report

    The event began by a brief introduction of the program by Mr. Jay Nishant, Patron of AIDIA, who was the moderator for the event. The first speaker to address the gathering was Mr. Ravi Shankar Singh, Jt. Secy., Ministry of Commerce, Nepal.


    Mr. Ravi Shankar Singh began his remarks by stating that Nepal imports around 4000 items from India and exports merely 500 items of which 17% are agricultural products. He pointed to the huge trade deficit of NRs 444 billion between the two countries and added that additional problems faced by Nepal with regard to trade included a high cost of trade transaction and a rise in informal trade and black marketing. He pointed to the four Letters of Exchange (LoEs) and an important agreement signed between the two countries that pertains to trade, transit and investment including provision to use the Visakhapatnam port for bilateral and third country trade as well as an additional transit option by Nepal, provision for rail transport connectivity from Vizag port to the dry port in Nepal at Birgunj, rail transit facility to Bangladesh, simplification of trade modalities and procedures at existing transit and customs points and a Power Trade Agreement consisting of Joint Investment and Power Trade.

    Mr. Singh pointed to some of the needs that could significantly improve the trade ties such as infrastructure upgradation at customs points, harmonization of standards and procedures and the role of the private sector for improving exports.


    Dr. Sanjay Sharma, Jt. Secy., Ministry of Energy, speaking after Mr. Singh hailed the decision for constituting the Nepal-India Joint Technical Team that would analyze the feasibility and operationalization of a cross-border transmission line and provide a visionary and futuristic planning for project. He alluded to the potential of the Action Plan on Electricity drafted by his ministry that has an ambitious aim of generating 10,000 MW of power in a decade’s time in Nepal. He mentioned that government was the key facilitator in this regard and urged the private sector to come forward for power generation as it is the private sector’s domain. He quipped that the government’s responsibility was to develop storage of reservoirs, build transmission lines, roads, etc. Dr. Sharma said that the reason for the slow pace of industrialization in Nepal is a gap in the supply and demand for energy. He stated that due to a lack of industries in the country, the demand is ostensibly low and that leads to a lack of electricity generation by the Nepal Electricity Authority.

    One of the major challenges Dr. Sharma identified in the development of the hydropower sector is lack of equity investments either from outside the country or within it and provided solutions to this challenge in the form of introducing reforms in the economy to improve investment climate, devise instruments such as Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Joint Ventures (JV’s), etc. with businesses investing from both India and Nepal and big businesses to come forward and take the lead, to discuss and sort out problems for a continuous engagement between both sides.


    Dr. Govind Pokharel, Former Vice-Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, remarked at the beginning of his address that just a face-to-face direct dialogue between the premiers of the two countries was a big achievement in itself following many months of exacerbated tensions due to the border blockade. He said that this was a successful indicator to begin with and the agreement and LoE’s that accompanied the visit were additional outcomes He mentioned that many MNC’s including Statcraft, Standard Chartered, etc. were threatening to withdraw investment from Nepal given the precarious internal situation in Nepal but hoped that PM Oli’s India visit and subsequent assurances from both sides might have stemmed that from happening. He mentioned the operationalization of Muzzafarpur transmission line under the Power Trade Agreement of 2014 and the provision of importing power from India through its use. He argued that the LoE’s and Agreement signed during PM Oli’s visit will have been successful if the trade deficit between Nepal and India reduced and FDI and exports from Nepal to India increased.


    H.E. Mr. Deep Kumar Upadhyay, Hon’ble Ambassador of Nepal to India, stated three important aspects of that shaped the contour of the visit. Before dwelling upon these, Mr. Upadhyay mentioned that the visit was timely under the given circumstances and promised to yield positive dividends for the future. The first of the three aspects highlighted by the Hon’ble Ambassador covered simplification of trade which covered elements ranging from trade facilitation measures to reducing tariffs such as physical connectivity, infrastructure development at border points, harmonization of standards across customs points, faster rate of transit and easing of non-tariff barriers to trade. Secondly, he expressed that Nepal should not doubt India’s intentions and that India was acting in the interest of Nepal and its own self and that India wanted mutual prosperity and stability in Nepal. Thirdly, he stated that the feeling of enmity or a conflict between Nepal and India was not in anybody’s favour and is just going to worsen things further. Therefore, he hoped that the partnership between the two countries can kick-off in a better, more robust and trustworthy manner.


    Hon’ble Rajan Bhattarai, Member of Parliament and Member of the Eminent Persons’ Group that accompanied PM Oli to India, spoke about the utility of keeping things together with one’s neighbor and quipped the famous saying that one can change one’s friends, but one can’t change one’s neighbours and need to be able to cope with them. He said that Nepal should look forward to not just deepening and benefitting from the relationship with India in terms of trade and investment but it should also adopt multilateral expanded relations approach to achieve its potential. In fact, he stressed that such an approach would also benefit India and not only the two countries, the entire region should devise such an approach to foreign policy based on pragmatism and mutual benefit that can contribute to shared prosperity of the region.


    Mr. Shakti Sinha, Chairperson, South Asian Institute for Strategic Affairs, Private Secretary to Former Indian PM. A.V. Vajpayee & Director, India Foundation, began his address by remarking that the fulcrum of Indi’a foreign policy under the leadership of PM Modi is regiona economic integration which aims at fostering mutual economic prosperity and the countries in the region should reap maximum benefits of this policy by swimming together and a failure to do would mean that they’ll have to sink separately. He thereafter remarked that 65% of Nepal’s formal trade takes place with India apart from a large volume of informal trade that exists between the two countries. He also mentioned that the worrisome attitude expressed by earlier speakers and many commentators in Nepal regarding the trade deficit with India isn’t rooted in sound economic and that politics should be separated from economics. Giving the example of China-India trade deficit, Mr. Sinha noted that India has had a trade deficit with China over the last 67years which currently stands at USD 45 billion (more than half of India’s total trade deficit) – almost 2% of the Indian GDP. He added however that it is important on India’s part to do something to change the optics of the issue and be sensitive towards concerns of Nepal. Giving the example of a well-performing Bangladeshi economy, he pointed to the fact that Bangladesh has had a trade deficit with India for years but it has turned that to its advantage by establishing itself right at the centre of the global value chain. He added that Bangladesh now has trade surpluses with countries in the EU and other Western countries and this came about due to the tactic of turning the trade deficit with India in its own favour by developing local industry in leather and textiles. There is an efficiency of arrangement and value additions along the supply chain in Bangladesh which allows different countries to be a part of the Bangladesh growth story through FDI and trade. By highlighting that value addition across the supply chain primarily comes from FDI, Mr. Sinha said that India is a massive exported of FDI with an outlay of USD 15 billion in 2007 and USD 19 billion in 2009. Most of this FDI however goes to countries like Singapore and Mauritius (although these are rarely the final destinations and are primarily used for their tax-conducive environments) and a mere USD 400 million is invested in South Asian countries. He said that Nepal can benefit immensely from a portion of this outflow of investment by staking a claim to it and creating an investor-friendly environment in Nepal. 


    Moving on to the issue of trade, Mr. Shakti Sinha gave a well explained analysis of the informal border trade that takes place across Indo-Nepal border with goods traded from India into Nepal being primarily sourced from Indian states of Up, Bihar and West Bengal and those reaching India from Nepal coming from other countries like China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore highlighting the fact that third-party trade dominates Nepal-India trade. Adding on to his remark about informal trade, he highlighted the benefits of informal trade which motivates traders to use this route instead of a formal one. These advantages are in the form of face-to-face interaction with the trader, risk mitigation and quality assurance, easy dispute settlement procedures of an informal nature, the inefficiency of formal trading regimes, low transaction costs, little or no procedural delays and small consignment size. He pointed to the benefits of easing procedures and making trading easier along the lines of informal trading in order to improve the trade volumes through the formal inter-country route. He also added that there exist microeconomic impediments to trade and investments which need to be worked upon.


    Towards the end of his address, Mr. Sinha focused on the Power Sector in Nepal and how it can take cue from Bhutan in this direction by bringing efficiency and clarity in its policies regarding the hydropower sector. He said that 75% of Bhutan’s energy needs are met with the help of hydropower and that the sector contributes 40% to government revenues and 25% towards the GDP. India itself was adding 15000 to 20000 MW of electricity every year to meet its growing energy needs and needs to develop capacities for power generation in East and Northeast India which contribute 12% and 3% towards total power production respectively despite the existence of a much larger capacity of hydropower generating resources. He said that through Joint Investment Ventures and Foreign Direct Investment, India can play a major role in Nepal’s power sector which has the potential to not only become power-sufficient if it manages to tap this potential but also a power-surplus country exporting electricity to India, Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.


    H.E. Mr. Ranjit Rae, Hon’ble Ambassador of India to Nepal, speaking at the end of the program, agreed with Mr. Sinha’s remark about separating politics from economic. However, he remarked that in order to move forward in the area of economic relationship, there needs to be a political consensus for economic reforms. Citing the example of Japan and China and the inherent queasiness they exhibit with regard to each other politically, Mr. Rae highlighted the fact that there are 125 Japanese companies in China and a multi-layered indispensable trade partnership. He expressed his strong belief that political decisions shouldn’t come in the way of economic development. He added that an intergovernmental Joint Commission needs to be set-up at the Commerce Secretary level between the two countries in order to streamline this process of economic advancement. The Ambassador also stated that India’s investment in Nepal up until now has been very profitable but there is paltry new investment coming from India to Nepal currently. He asked everyone to ponder over the reasons as to why this was the case and why there isn’t much FDI flowing into Nepal from other sources too and if it is why the amount is so insignificant. He exhorted the government of Nepal to think about the measures to be taken to attract new investment from India as Indian investment has been the benchmark in Nepal. He also inquired if there is or can there be an increase in investment in Nepal without its continued special partnership with India as most countries in Europe and Southeast Asia continue to view India’s investment in Nepal as the benchmark driver for their own investments. He encouraged the two countries to have a problem-solving approach towards bilateral challenges and invited Nepal’s business and diplomatic community to improve the image of investment climate of Nepal by conducting road-shows in major cities of India and advertise there to attract the attention of Indian companies and businessmen.


    8.    Conclusion and Outcomes

    The program provided an opportunity to the experts, diplomats and delegates to address the significance of PM Oli’s visit to India in the bilateral context. It also gave space to generating new ideas to solve the bilateral issues through intellectual debate and engagement between both the parties. The event focussed on concrete deliverables that could further the progress of the unique and incomparable partnership between Nepal and India. It had as its most important agenda, the improvement and strengthening of the relations between India and Nepal. Through the discussions and networking offered by the program, the business communities of the two countries as well as the government representatives got a chance to resolve any nagging issues from the past and frame the future course of action by taking immediate steps in improving the present status of economic relations by smoothening the inflow and outflow of trade, investment and creating sustainable business links between entrepreneurs across both sides of the border


    Kathmandu, the 23rd March, 2016




     PM Oli’s India Visit: Trade, Transit, Business and Trade Opportunities

    Official banner for the event






    Special Guests and Panellists at the program



    Delegates/Businesspersons at the PM Oli’s India Visit program


    Mr. Shakti Sinha, the Key Note Speaker for the program expressing his views


                     H.E. Mr. Ranjit Rae, Ambassador of India to Nepal in discussion with Mr. Shakti Sinha



    A panoramic view of the program


    © Copyright 2016-17 by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, all rights reserved. All materials appearing in the above report may not be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher and in no case for profit.

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  • The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner, September 3, 2015

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  • Nepal as a Federal State: Lesson Learn from the Indian Experience

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  • The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner, July 31,2015

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  • Nepal-India Future Economic Partnership

    India-Nepal Economic Relations 

    Nepal shares a border of about 1850 kilometres with five Indian States – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim. An estimated 6 million Nepalese live and work in India. As close neighbours, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation characterized by open borders and deep-rooted people-to- people contacts of kinship and culture. Both countries share a long tradition of free movement of people across the borders. 
India and Nepal has excellent bilateral ties in political, economic, cultural and trade relations. India is extending technical and economic support to Nepal especially after 1951. The signing of peace and friendship treaty after 1950 established the framework for unique ties between India and Nepal. India and Nepal has signed a foreign trade agreement (FTA) in 1971, which has been renewed many times over latest in 2009. The Indo–Nepal trade treaty of 1996 was a landmark as India provided duty-free access to all (except three) products manufactured in Nepal. India is Nepal’s largest trade partner, the largest source of foreign investment and of tourist arrivals. A good numbers of the joint venture projects with India investment are in operation in Nepal. India has cooperated with Nepal in the construction of various projects including infrastructures, health and other technical sectors. There are other projects that benefit both countries. The projects 
relating to cross border connectivity are in pipeline. Development of infrastructure, communication and technological capabilities of Nepal facilitates mutual gain through commercial, economic and technical cooperation between the two countries. The sustained economic growth of India can be energizing and motivational factors for Nepal. The faster economic growth of Nepal can be stimulus and to Nepal’s drives for faster economic growth and also open the extensive areas of cooperation between the countries. India-Nepal Future Economic Partnership will provide the opportunity to discuss and debate on the existing and possible partnership between India and Nepal to improve and strengthen the bilateral tie.


    AIDIA will provide platform to discuss and debate on the regional issues of Asia. Since the India and Nepal is Neighboring country sharing the open border, it has close cultural, social, political, and economic and trade relations. India has been the one of the major country of import and export to Nepal. India has already extended its hand for various developmental projects. India Nepal Future Economic Partnership is the relevant topic of discussion and debate in the AIDIA-Asia Conclave, which will help to promote the bilateral relations of the countries and can make discussion in improvement of possible future economic partnership. Thus AIDIA will provide the opportunity to speak on the topic. The role of AIDIA is to provide platform to share knowledge, ideas and act as a moderator to establish economic, social and political diplomacy and promote the bilateral relations between the countries. We have to work as a catalyst. Our objective is to strengthen the social, economic and political ties between Nepal and other countries by acting as a facilitator. AIDIA initiate ideas and extend hand to collaborate in future projects. This conclave is the platform to make a debate discussion on the agenda and networking

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  • The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner, March 27, 2015

    The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner was organized in the Mulchowk Restaurant Babarmahal Revisited, Bijulibazar, Kathmandu, Nepal from 6pm onwards on 27th March 2015. Her Excellency Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to Nepal was present in the diplomatic dinner as a guest of honor with her spouse Mr. Minhasur Rahman. The program started with the welcome remarks by one of the team member of AIDIA. Mr. Sunil KC (CEO/Founder, AIDIA) has explained about the aims and objectives of The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner. Her Excellency has introduced herself and briefed about Bangladesh Economy and business opportunities in Bangladesh and VIP delegates has also introduced themselves. A thirty minutes video presentation of Bangladesh: An Important Business Destination prepared by Her Excellency was presented to the delegates of the dinner, which has clearly shown about the Bangladesh Economy and import and Export materials in Bangladesh. Her Excellency has mentioned that opportunities to extend bilateral ties with link to direct Dhaka to Kathmandu bus route since it is just 40km away from Kakarvita eastern part of Nepal. H.E. Ms. Shams has also mentioned that Nepal can export ginger and honey in Bangladesh, which has got high market.

    After the presentation there was interaction and networking session. The delegates asked queries regarding the education opportunities, establishment of business in Bangladesh and continue to strengthen the existing business. Her Excellency has answered their queries and also said that the Embassy of Bangladesh will help those who want information and make in contact with the related organization in Bangladesh. At the end of the program H.E. has presented token of love to the Sponsors Mr. Naresh Bhattarai (CEO, International Institute of Education Consultancy) and Khagendra Sitaula (Managing Director, Sitaula Group) and also behalf of AIDIA. Mr. Sunil KC (CEO/Founder, AIDIA) has presented a token of love to H.E. Ms. Mahfee Binte Shams.

    Finally, the pictures were taken and the program closed down

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  • The AIDIA Annual Economic Diplomacy Conference 2015

    This is the first annual conference of the AIDIA with an aim of connecting people and sharing ideas from business, Finance, Diplomacy, academia, government, and civil society. The conference  provides an opportunity to ascertain about other countries diplomatic, economic and political issues, which will aid for successful establishment of Nepal’s political and economic scenario on an international level. Through this conference Nepal can get ideas and views from the experts of other countries and can make improvement accordingly. The foremost priority of the conference is to ensure that Nepal exposed internationally in relation to economic and political situation.

    Methodology of the Conference

    The conference will be divided into four sessions. The conference kick-start with an official welcome to the attendees and will end with a reception and networking. In between this session, there will be a keynote speech by the speakers before and after lunch and a discussion panel on diplomacy and economic areas and a break for refreshment.


    1. Mr. Surendra Pandey (Former Finance Minister of Nepal)

 2. Mr. Deep Kumar Upadhaya Former Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil 

    3. Her Excellency Rensje Teerink (Ambassador, Delegation of 
the European Union to Nepal)

    4. His Excellency Ranjit Rae (Ambassador, Embassy of the 
Republic of India to Nepal) 

    5. Dr.Shankar Prasad Sharma (Former Nepalese Ambassador 
to USA) 

    6. Her Excellency Mashfee Binte Shams (Ambassador, Embassy 
of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to Nepal) 

    7. Ms. Meera H Sanya l(Former Banker; Leader-AAP) 


    Participants will come from financial Institutions/Travel and Tourism, Diplomacy and from /INGO/NGO/Government/Political Parties/Academic Institutions/Diplomatic Missions which are based in Kathmandu, Nepal has attended the conference.


    AIDIA hopes on hearing ideas from experts, entrepreneurs, investors and industrialists, which the audience will listen and understand better, through an interactive discussion and dissection. It will also discuss how Nepal can be more international in the context of South Asia, which is changing rapidly, how Nepalese people can compete in a global economy and flourish their business worldwide. This discussion will bring up ideas to make the Nepalese economic and political situation foreword globally. Taking in the opinions of the audience as well, AIDIA will come forward with a document, which will put forward ideas, prescriptions and feedback, for the experts and the participants to generate an idea for progress and improvement.


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  • Interactive Session on "Trade and Investment Opportunites in Afghanistan"

    AIDIA has organized an Interactive session on “Trade and Business Opportunities in Afghanistan” with H.E Mr. Shaida Mohammad Abdali (Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to India and Nepal) with the joint collaboration of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to India & Nepal on 4th March 2015. There were  thirty five participants from the diffrent business departments, medias and acedmics.

    His Excellency mentioned that Nepal can be the hub of strategic decision because: Nepal is the home of SAARC Headquarter; and it is full of resources and opportunities. His Excellency also highlighted the similarities between Afghanistan and Nepal in terms of climate, culture and geography. During the interaction session His Excellency mentioned about the recent developments of Afghanistan in terms of new government formation and private sector based economic growth. Participants came to know about the transition that took place in Afghanistan in last 14 years. Transition in Afghanistan was from being foreign dependent to become self-dependent. His Excellency also mentioned about the support of foreign countries to Afghanistan. His Excellency also mentioned that within 10 years Afghanistan will become self dependent with the support of the countries from all around the world.

    The program went interactive with active involvement of the participants. The program ended with the networking session.


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  • The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner, February 16, 2015

    AIDIA has organized The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner in the presence of Her Excellence Genet Zewide (Ambassador of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal) on February 16, 2015 at Royal Singi Hotel. Around fifteen renowned business people from the economic sphere of Nepal and diplomacy has attended “The Kathmandu Diplomatic Dinner” and presented their opinions and ideas associated with improvising the relationship between Ethiopia and Nepal. Her Excellence Genet Zewide also presented her ideas and showed interest on activities that would help to create better relation between Ethiopia and Nepal.

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  • Symposium in Ethiopian Culture

    AIDIA has organized a Symposium in Ethiopian Culture. The Program initially started with the welcome note Ms. Saru Shilpakar (Associate Director, AIDIA). Akililu Kebede Erena (Economic Officer of Embassy of Ethiopia to India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & Nepal) has displayed half an hour video on Ethiopian Culture. Participants has asked the queries and the program ended.

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  • A Round Table Meeting on Business Opportunities for Nepalese in Ethiopia

     AIDIA has organized A Round Table Meeting on Business Opportunites for Nepalese in Ethiopia in the presence of Her Excellence Genet Zewide (Abassador of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lank & Nepal). There were twenty five participants from the diffrent sectors. H.E. Genet Zewide has highlighted the ethipion history and social and economic development process in Ethiopia. She has compared the similarities in between Nepal and Ethiopia. The meeting was interactive and insightful. At the end of the program Mr. Rajendra Giri (Economic Advisor, AIDIA) provided a Token of Love to H.E. Genet Zewide and Mr. Jay Nishant (Political Advisor, AIDIA) provided a Token of Love to Mr. Aklilu Kebede Erena ( Economic Officer of Embassy of Ethiopia to india, Thailand, Bnagladesh, Sri Lanka & Nepal).

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  • A Talk Program on India-Nepal Economic and Cultural Relations

    Mr Ashish Sinha (First Secretary of Commerce Wing/ Director of Indian Cultural Relations, Nepal) has delivered a talk on January 3, 2015 in Bridgewater International College in Sinamangal organized by AIDIA. The main theme of the program is to deliver a dialogue on economy and cultural relationship in between India and Nepal. Mr Sinha has talked about friendly diplomacy relationship of Nepal and India. Majority of the participants were from universities, colleges and there are some from other areas as well. The talk programme was remarkable, which provide an opportunity for the participants to enquire their curiosity and doubts in political and diplomatic perspectives. The program ended with closing note speech by Mr. Sunil Kc (Founder/ CEO of AIDIA).

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  • Workshop on "Effective Business, Leadership and Strategic Management"

    AIDIA has organized a Workshop on “Effective Business, Leadership and Strategic Management” in Joint collaboration with Youth Legend and JYSP on January 14, 2015 in Mike’s Breakfast Baluwatar. Dr. Christopher Lingle was the Guest Speaker of the Workshop. Around 30 people has attended the workshop including Folio magazine and Nepal Council of World Affairs. Dr Lingle has talked in depth about the entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, leadership and management. Majority of the participants were youth from different colleges and universities.

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  • A Round Table Meeting on China's Impact on Emerging Market Economies

    AIDIA has organized a round table meeting on ‘China’s Impacts on Emerging Economic Markets’ in collaboration with NMB Bank on January 6, 2015. The Guest Speaker of the Program was Dr. Christopher Lingle (International Political Economic Advisor of AIDIA). There were twenty participants including NMB bank staffs and editor of Folio Magazine. Dr, Lingle has delivered insightful information in China’s role in South Asia’s economic future. It was an interactive meeting where participants were actively engaged. The program ended with closing note by Bijaya Giri (staff of NMB Bank) who also provided token of love to Dr. Lingle and Mr. Sunil Kc (founder/CEO of AIDIA).

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  • Bangladesh-Nepal Relations and Their Role in SAARC

    Consistent with its mission to promote and facilitate enhanced diplomatic relations among Asian actors, and between them and the rest of the world, AIDIA organised the conference on "Bangladesh-Nepal Relations and Their Role in SAARC", its on-going Dialogue on International Affairs Programme.
    For the fortnightly occasion, AIDIA invited H.E. Ms Mashfee Binte Shams, resident Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal on Friday the 14th of September 2014. The Ambassador delivered a presentation divided into three different sections; namely, a presentation on Bangladesh’s main country features; an explanation of the existing relations between Bangladesh and Nepal; and an insightful analysis of the potential benefits that an enhancement of the existing collaboration would bring to both nations, in the context of revamped SAARC and Asian economies. Active engagement of the audience in the Q&A session, helped achieve a dynamic dialogue among all participants, and provided a very positive and successful outcome to the project.
    AIDIA hopes that this event lays the groundwork for further fruitful collaboration with the Embassy of Bangladesh in future occasions.

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  • PM Modi’s Visit to Nepal – Positive Impact on Nepalese Economy

     In conformity with its mission to promote and facilitate diplomatic relations among Asian actors, and between them and the rest of the world, AIDIA organised and implemented this event, comprised in its on-going fortnightly Dialogue on International Affairs Programme. For the occasion of Friday the 15th August 2014, the Institute invited a set of three panellists from the economic, political and diplomatic fields, composed of Dr  Chiranjeevi Nepal, Economic Adviser to Nepalese PM Sushil Koirala; Mr Gopal Khanal, Diplomatic Affairs Editor, The Kantipur National Daily; and Mr Kiran Pokharel, Head of the Political Bureau, The Annapurna Post Daily. The panellists were carefully selected for the occasion upon the basis of their extensive experience in India-Nepal economic relations, as well as of their widely acknowledged seniority in the Nepalese political, economic and journalism fields.

    The panellists’ presentation gave way to an open discussion time with the format of a questions-and-answers, in which participants pro-actively engaged in the discussion of the topics presented, adding very relevant elements to the dialogue through their comments and remarks.

    The presence and active participation in the talks of representatives from the Indian Embassy and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Nepal Country Office contributed grandly to the dynamic character of the dialogue and to achieve an actual interaction between the panellists and the youths audience. Concluding remarks were delivered by the Heads of the co-organising institutions, by the end of the session.


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  • Sri Lanka-Nepal Relations and its Role in Regional Development

    The dialogue on "Nepal-Sri Lanka Relations and Its Role in Regional Development", was organised by AIDIA organised this event, as part of the fortnightly Dialogue on International Affairs Programme, on Wednesday the 30th July 2014. Implemented in close collaboration with Orbit International School of Kathmandu, Nepal, the event took place at Orbit’s Conference Hall. For the occasion, AIDIA invited H.E. Ambassador W.M. Senevirathna as the keynote speaker, and offered him the opportunity to present his topic before an audience of more than 70 selected participants, mostly young representatives from a number of key institutions from relevant sectors in Nepal, as well as students of IR, Business, Political Science and other related fields.

    Ambassador Senevirathna’s talk took well over one-and-a-half hours and was accompanied by a presentation. It focused on Sri Lanka’s major features and offered an overview of current Nepal-Sri Lanka relations in a variety of grounds, as well as an insightful analysis of the potential benefits that an enhancement of the existing collaboration would bring to both nations, in the context of revamped SAARC and Asian economies.

    The presentation gave way to a Q&A session, which ensured the active engagement of the audience in a constructive dialogue with the speaker and with AIDIA organisers.

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  • PM Modi’s Upcoming Visit – Significance in Bilateral Relations

    In light of the impending visit that PM Modi’s will pay to Nepal in the coming weeks -the first one to the country after his election-, AIDIA wanted to provide Nepal’s younger audience with a valuable insight on the expectations generated by the visit, as well as with an accurate analysis on the impact and consequences that India’s new diplomatic, economic and regional integration policies would bring to its neighbours in general, and to Nepal in particular.

    For the occasion, the Institute arranged a roundtable that counted on the active participation of Dr Dattesh Prabhu Parulekar, Member and Spokesperson of the National Foreign Affairs Cell, BJP, India; and of Mr Ram Karki, Former In-charge of Foreign Affairs Cell, UCPN Maoist, Nepal, who shared their views on the existing relations between the two countries, as well as their understandings on the prospects for changes on them during PM Modi’s tenure.

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  • Revival of Southern Silk Road – Role of Trilateral Cooperation among India, China and Nepal

    Dr Pradumna B. Rana, Associate Professor of International Political Economy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies(RSIS) of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, joined AIDIA on Friday the 4th July 2014 for a lecture on the trilateral cooperation among India, China and Nepal through the establishment of a new Silk Road connecting the three nations and the regions they belong to. Dr Rana, who is also the Coordinator of the Master of Science in International Political Economy Programme and of the Economic Multilateralism and Regionalism Studies at the RSIS’ Centre for Multilateralism Studies, highlighted the enormous potential benefits that a strengthening of the understanding between Asia’s two giants would entail for Nepal, which is at the crossroads of democratisation.

    The lecture also showcased the limitless possibilities of collaboration in economic, political, geo-strategic and cultural grounds among the three countries, if they would take advantage of the ancient Southern Silk Road connection, revitalising and modernising such Silk Road in order to make it serve the purposes of 21st century geopolitical reality. The audience, mainly comprised of representatives from diplomatic missions in Kathmandu and from diverse youth organisations, actively engaged in the discussion of the topics through Q&A sessions, which very much contributed to make the event an actual dialogue among participants and the speaker.

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