By Sharachchandra Bhandary
Â Kathmandu, 7th January, 2015 :Â As the date for the promulgation of a new constitution, as announced by the key political parties, approaches near, international communities and Nepal’s development partners are keenly observingÂ theÂ political developments unfolding here.
In this connection, Israeli Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Yair Shamir is paying an official visit to Nepal commencing tomorrow to
take stock of constitution writing, discuss ways and means to further cement bilateral ties and take Israel-Nepal relations to an unprecedented level.
Minister Shamir, leading a 12-member delegation that comprises high officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development and business leaders, is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his counterpart Hari Prasad Parajuli and address a gathering of Nepali entrepreneurs. During his two-day sojourn, he will call on President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala separately. According to Israeli embassy, the visiting minister will also hold parleys with Constituent Assembly Chair Subas Chandar Nembang, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa.
Speaking briefly to RSS, Israeli ambassador to Nepal, Yaron Mayer said that Israel attached high priority to Nepal and wanted to assist her in developmental efforts.” This year is the 55th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations and we want to make it memorable,” he said, shedding light on the importance of bilateral bonds and significance of Minister Shamir’s visit.
Reminding of a framework agreement on cooperation in the field of agriculture that was signed in March 2010 between the government of Israel and Nepal, he said his country wanted to enhance the level of cooperation in addition to training farmers and rendering technical support. Asked about the early resumption of Nepali care givers, he responded in the positive and stated that both governments were taking the issue seriously.
Nepal and Israel have been enjoying warm and cordial relations ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations on June 1, 1960. The bilateral relations between Nepal and Israel are based on goodwill, mutual trust, respect and cooperation and understanding. Peoples of both countries have tremendous goodwill towards each-other. Moreover, growing bilateral interactions in economic and socio-cultural fields have contributed to enhance relations both at the people-to-people and at the government levels between our two countries.
On the economic front, there is a great potential to expand bilateral trade and investment cooperation. Keeping this in mind, the visiting Minister has inducted a group of business leaders in his entourage, which is scheduled to hold a meeting with Nepali businessmen, led by Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) president Pradeep Jung Pandey. Ever since the establishment of full-fledged Israeli residential mission in Kathmandu in 1961, the envoys have been consistently extending every possible support to increase economic cooperation. Nepal and Israel have been working closely and cooperatively in the areas of common interest and mutual concern in addition to strengthening relations in bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.
Likewise, Israel has been generously assisting Nepal on technical field so as to better equip Nepal’s government and non- government officials in their quest of attaining sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. Israel has continuously supported Nepal in terms of human resources development by providing scholarships for higher education and short training courses like agriculture, education, health, science and technology and communication. More than one thousand Nepalis have benefitted from these courses so far. All these endeavours reaffirm Israel’s continued support for technical assistance and cooperation with Nepal in areas of Israel’s expertise according to Nepal’s needs.
Israel had been a lucrative labour destination in the past, especially for the care givers. Due to wrong-doings of some of foreign employment agencies of our country, the host was compelled to cease take Nepali care-givers.
The Israeli government, in order to check rampant irregularities of Nepali manpower agencies, has taken the matter to the government of Nepal. Both sides are engaged in negotiations and it is expected that it will not take long time to resume the process of recruiting Nepali workers.
FNCCI president Pandey, appreciating the initiation of both governments in further enhancing trade contacts, urged business leaders of Israel to invest in Nepal in the prioritized areas such as hydropower, agriculture and tourism.
“Nepali products like tea, coffee, woollen carpets, handmade paper, handicrafts, wooden and metal crafts can find markets in Israel,” he said. Referring to a protocol of cooperation signed between FNCCI and Israeli Chamber of Commerce during the official visit of the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, he expressed his readiness to work with Israeli business community to boost bilateral trade.
Much needs to be done to build Nepal’s productive capacity in agriculture, manufacturing and service sector to reach the target of graduation form Least Developed Country by 2022. To attain this ambitious target, we have to seek assistance from international communities. Israel, being one of the experts in agriculture technology, would be delighted to assist Nepal in enhancing her agricultural productivity.
At the same time Nepal needs to move towards a modern structural transformation of her economy and this can be achieved by the support of long-standing friends like Israel. Our next door neighbours and development partners, India and China, have been very cooperative in this front too. What we lack is strong political determination and will to free our people from the clutches of poverty.Â Nepal, country nestled in the highest mountains of the world and Israel, lying along the east shores of the Mediterranean Sea and having the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, both small in size and population, are poised to take bond of friendship to an elevated level, which is backed by the visit of minister Shamir.
The Constituent Assembly member and the member of International Department of the Unified CPN (Maoist), Ram Karki, expressed his confidence that the visit of the Israeli minister will be productive in terms of furthering the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
Commending the political acumen ofÂ Bisheshower Prasad Koirala, the first elected Prime Minister of Nepal, Karki opined the diplomatic ties with Israel was of utmost importance, in view ofÂ benefiting smaller nations like Nepal.
Source : RSS