May 02, 2024


Kathmandu, Nepal – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's South Asia program concluded its first official commercial mission to Nepal, marking the first business delegation to the Himalayan nation. During the visit, Amb. (ret.) Atul Keshap, Senior Vice President for South Asia, and Nirmal Kajee Shrestha, Chairman of the recently accredited American Chamber of Commerce in Nepal (AmCham Nepal), called on Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" to discuss strengthening U.S.-Nepali business and investment ties.  

The group met with the Honorable Finance Minister of Nepal Barsha Man Pun, CEO of the Investment Board of Nepal Sushil Bhatta, and other officials to discuss the Government’s reform agenda and critical steps needed to facilitate additional investment. The group also commended the Government for its steps towards gaining the country’s first sovereign credit rating, and its efforts towards passing an electricity bill which will open transmission to competitive bidding processes and help power Nepal and the wider region. 

The Chamber and AmCham Nepal co-hosted an executive roundtable on “Advancing U.S.-Nepal Commercial Relations” featuring the Honorable Dean Thompson, U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, as well as representatives from USAID, The White House National Security Council, the U.S. Commercial Service, and over forty business executives from across the private sector. Roundtable participants addressed progress and further reforms required to fully-enable Nepal’s business environment and private sector to generate sustainable, inclusive, and resilient growth. 

Addressing the Inaugural Session of the Nepal Investment Summit, Amb. Keshap said “American businesses have been investing and operating here in Nepal for more than half a century. American firms like MetLife and Coca-Cola have contributed directly to the development story of Nepal and provided employment opportunities, tax revenue, skilling, and so much more.”  

“However,” said Keshap, “America only accounts for roughly 3% of FDI in Nepal, and we must work collaboratively to grow that number. Creating a more level-playing field for foreign companies, building regulatory predictability and mechanisms for stakeholder inputs, and focusing on ease and speed of doing business will improve our overall bilateral commercial relationship and support the wellbeing of both our peoples. These efforts will act as catalyzers as Nepal approaches Least Developed Country (LDC) graduation and enters middle-income status.”  

Nirmal Kajee Shrestha, Chairman of AmCham Nepal and VP/General Manager of MetLife Nepal, highlighted that “At AmCham Nepal, our vision is to showcase Nepal as a land of boundless opportunities, rich in natural resources and human talent alike, and to foster a policy and regulatory environment that leverages those advantages. We aim to instill confidence amongst regulators that the advancement of the private sector and more investment from the United States will not only drive socio-economic progress but also lead to significant enhancements in our public services, infrastructure, and sustainable environmental policies. Creating that enabling ecosystem will allow for new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from American investors and safeguard the interests of existing U.S. companies in Nepal. This is essential for fostering inclusive economic growth and prosperity throughout our nation.”