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2nd Nepal-Japan Friendship Summit 2024 opens new opportunities for investment, collaboration

B360
B360 February 8, 2024, 3:01 pm
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KATHMANDU: The second 'Nepal-Japan Friendship Summit 2024' was organised by Leadx NepalFourth Valley Concierge Corporation, Japan, and Idea Studio Nepal.

The summit took place in Kathmandu from January 31 to February 4, 2024, with the support of the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Tribhuvan University (TU), Leapfrog Technology, Mid Valley International College, and Hotel Radisson.

The summit was attended by various institutions, universities, and organisations, exploring Japanese investment opportunities in Nepal. The goal was to strengthen Nepal-Japan relations and promote Nepali talent in Japan.

Around 600 Nepali delegates, including officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Investment Board Nepal, and others, interacted with Japanese delegates.

A delegation from Shizuoka Prefectural Government and representatives from 21 Japanese companies participated in the summit. More than 100 companies and organisations from Nepal also attended.

On the first day, TU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shiva Lal Bhusal thanked Japanese delegates for visiting the TU memorial building. He spoke positively about using technology in education to bridge the socio-economic gap between the two countries. TU's International Relation Centre's Executive Director Binod Joshi suggested that technology could help solve Nepal's brain drain problem.

TU's Institute of Science and Technology Dean Prof Dr Binil Aryal provided information about TU. School of Management, TU, Acting Director Dr Govinda Tamang discussed their work and collaborations.

Japanese participants, including Takashi Muraoka, CEO of Industrial Growth Platform, Inc; Chikara Funabashi, Founder and former Project Director at TOBITATE Study Abroad Initiative; and others, highlighted the common culture and behaviour between Nepal and Japan. They noted a lack of skilled manpower in Japan and suggested opportunities for the Nepali labour force in Japanese companies worldwide.

The inauguration of the Nepal-Japan Friendship Summit 2024, attended by Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, Sudurpashchim provincial government's Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning Naresh Kumar Shahi, and Japanese Ambassador to Nepal, Kikuta Yutaka, marked the second programme of the first day.

The summit's inauguration was marked by the lighting of butter lamps and watering a plant. On the occasion, Finance Minister Mahat invited Japanese investors to increase investment in Nepal, highlighting the ample opportunities. He briefed about the upcoming Investment Summit 2024 in April.

Minister Shahi shared Sudurpashchim Province's plans to increase its GDP through agriculture and tourism development, noting the province's water resources and fertile land.

Japanese Ambassador Yutaka expressed pleasure at the Japanese participation at the summit. He suggested Japan could be a significant collaborator in Nepal's development of technology, knowledge, and investment. He also mentioned the possibility of living in Nepal while working for Japanese companies, which could help bridge the socio-economic conditions of both countries.

Tshering Lama, Chief Enabler of LeadX Nepal, and Yohei Shibasaki, Founder and CEO of Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation, noted that 21 large Japanese companies were exploring the Nepali market. They highlighted the summit as an opportunity to transfer knowledge and technology, increase investment, and develop the socio-economic conditions of both countries.

Various companies presented their statements and papers at the event. MOUs were signed between Global Academy of Tourism and Hospitality Education (GATE), Liberty College, Mid Valley International College, and Japanese Companies — Mekyu, Mensyuku. The event was conducted by Aki Takeda, Executive Director of Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation.

On the second day, Japanese delegations visited various institutions according to their expertise and interests. They visited Leapfrog Technology, Mid Valley International College, GATE College, Sagarmatha Engineering College, among others. MOUs were signed between Leadx Nepal, Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation, and Leapfrog Technology.

This collaboration is expected to provide opportunities for global investment and ecosystem creation, offering employment, re-skilling, upskilling, and new skills for globally migrated workers.

Idea Studio Nepal plans to operate an incubation centre for global migrants in collaboration with TU. Given Japan's manpower shortage and Nepal's unemployment issue, this creates opportunities for Japanese investors and Nepali institutions and businesses to create an ecosystem. The 2024 summit will welcome Japanese companies as potential investors in education, hospitality, tourism, and information technology.

On the third day, Idea Studio Nepal organised a banquet for Japanese delegations at Hotel Manaslu, featuring music performances by Kutumba band. A networking session was held, and a presentation on new businesses in the startup sector was made.

The first Nepal-Japan Friendship Summit was co-hosted by LeadX Nepal and Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation in 2022.

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