Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, Chief Guest of this Convention,
Professors, Researches and Paper Presenters,
Representatives from Non-Resident Nepali Community,
Representatives of the Private Sectors,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Namaste and Good Evening!
On behalf of the Government of Nepal and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as on my own, I would like to warmly welcome you all to this programme.
At the outset, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the NRNA and other organizers for convening the First NRN Global Knowledge Convention and inviting me to deliver welcome remarks.
I am confident that deliberations in the Convention will be productive and fruitful.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is heartening to note that Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) is playing an important role in cementing affiliation and attachment between the Nepali Diaspora globally and their motherland.
With the mobilization of knowledge, skill, capital and other resources, NRN are assisting in the socio-economic development of Nepal.
They are also promoting Nepal’s culture and traditions globally acting as cultural ambassadors of Nepal.
NRN has also played an important role in safeguarding the rights of migrant workers in various countries in the world.
I would like to particularly appreciate the efforts and assistance that NRN shave extended in difficult times, especially the one that came promptly in the aftermath of the 2015 Earthquake. They have also extended helping hands in other natural disasters.
The Government of Nepal has given top priority to economic diplomacy and NRNs are playing an important role in promoting it in the countries they reside. Economic diplomacy encompasses different aspects like- promotion of trade, networking for trade and investment as well as technological transfer and negotiations.
You have also been instrumental in building external partnerships for development.
Today, the contribution made by Diaspora community is considered very important in poverty reduction, education, health and well-being of their families through remittances and other investments.
The Government of Nepal has initiated a number of legal, policy and institutional measures in favour of NRNs.
The Government has recognized NRNs legal status and has taken measures to involve them in national development process.
In addition, the present Constitution, which was promulgated by the people’s representatives, has recognized the NRN citizenship with economic, social and cultural rights. You have achieved this important provision in the constitution through your consistent efforts.
I believe that it will obviously kindle a higher degree of sense of belongingness, affection and reverence towards the motherland.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
NRNA, in collaboration with the Government of Nepal, has regularly organized Global Conference every two years.
I would like to inform you that an Advisory Board under the convenorship of Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission has been in operation since long to advise policy measures on NRN related matters.
Similarly, a separate Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been established to look after NRN affairs.
I would like to assure that the Government of Nepal will do more to strengthen these frameworks to meet the needs of NRNs in changing times.
The Government of Nepal remains committed to addressing genuine concerns, legitimate interests and valuable recommendations of the NRN community.
We consider, it is our responsibility to protect the interests of Nepalis wherever they live.
As a liaison institution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Missions abroad have shouldered this responsibility with dedication.
The provisions contained in NRN Act 2064 and Rules, 2066, are meant for the benefits of NRNs through the issuance of NRN Identity Cards, investment as well as property acquisition facility.
For your kind information, federal law is under formulation phase in order to activate the constitutional provisions on NRN citizenship.
Following the enactment of the federal law, the existing laws on NRNs will be amended commensurate with the new constitution and other relevant laws.
Certainly, NRN community has some comparative advantages because of their good knowledge and understanding of the local markets as well as foreign markets.
You have a global network with International Coordination Committee and National Coordination Committees.
I believe such a network can be utilized to deliver tangible outcome from Economic diplomacy, which will contribute to accelerating overall development of Nepal.
The prevailing statutes on foreign investment and technology transfer, industrial enterprises, labor and contributory social security are in place to protect foreign investment.
The Government is committed to creating a conducive environment for investment both domestic and foreign and, removing barriers if any as promptly as possible.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I believe the partnership between the Government, NRN should be complemented by the private sector as well. Synergetic partnership among the Government, NRN and Private Sector will make a difference in diversifying our economy with trade and investment occupying the central stage.
We suffer huge trade deficit. To overcome this scenario, we need to penetrate global market with quality products and right market strategies. NRNs can play an important role in conducting market surveys and popularizing Nepali products.
Likewise, NRNs can play vital role in promoting Nepal’s Tourism by organizing variety of programs such as food festivals, cultural performances, Nepal festivals etc., and also encouraging local people to travel Nepal.
Let me also recall my appeal to NRNs and Nepali Diaspora to join hands with fellow Nepalis at home to realize the dream of Prosperous Nepal Happy Nepali through creative use of tangible and intangible resources they possess.
Knowledge resources are no less important than material resources. In fact, knowledge resources will be the key drivers as the world moves towards knowledge-based economy.
Your convening of this Convention on such an important theme “Expanding Nepal’s Knowledge Pool through Diaspora” is both timely and pertinent.
Looking at the presence of eminent scholars and researchers here, I am confident that this Convention will become an important landmark in creating awareness about knowledge resources and building partnership to harness them for the benefit of our country.
Since you have acquired vast knowledge and are equipped with skills, have interacted with modern markets, value chains and witnessed some of the fastest transformation in the countries you reside, transferring knowledge and technology that you have acquired to your brothers and sisters back home will be critically important in building qualified human resources to meet our enormous development challenges.
If we analyze the reason for the development of the modern world, it is based on knowledge creation and its utilization. Nepal, which was once known as the land of knowledge sanctified by sages and intellectuals, needs to revive the glorious traditions of knowledge creation for the overall benefit of humanity. While the western world made phenomenal advancement through the utilization of knowledge greatly contributed by renaissance and similar other movements, we failed to make substantial progress despite being rich in knowledge and wisdom. Now the time has come to revitalize knowledge and restore the lost glory.
Underlining the importance of knowledge in human life, our ancestors have said, “ऋतेः ज्ञानान्नमुक्ति” which means no emancipation without knowledge.
I hope this Global Convention will bring substantive outcome, create new knowledge and opportunities for all of us.
I am glad to learn that there will be discussions on broader spectrum of themes ranging from economy, science, technology to agriculture, health, education.
All of these are our priority areas.
Finally, I take this opportunity to extend my greetings for coming Nepali festivals including Dashain, Tihar, Nepal Sambat and Chatha. My best wishes to all Nepali people at home and abroad for their health happiness and success.
I wish the Convention all success.