Nepal can have a high-volume trade with the UAE: Ambassador Dhakal « Khabarhub
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Nepal can have a high-volume trade with the UAE: Ambassador Dhakal

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been one of the favored destinations for Nepali migrant workers. Newly appointed ambassador for UAE, Krishna Prasad Dhakal has expressed his commitment to work for the rights of Nepali workers in the UAE. Ramesh Bharati at Khabarhub caught up with Ambassador Dhakal. Excerpts:

What will be your first mission upon assuming the office in the UAE?

I am familiar with the problems faced by Nepali migrants in the UAE to some extent. My first initiation would be to analyze the problems faced by Nepali youths there and then try to solve their problems. I shall also hold discussions with the workers and their employees in order to identify the problems and find out the solution measures.

What is your understanding about the situation of Nepali migrant workers there?

So far as my knowledge is concerned, the situation of Nepali migrants in the UAE is good compared to other destination countries. Even the UAE government treats them well and the youths are earning well. There is no authentic data but I have heard that around 300,000 Nepali youths are working in the UAE. Those who have been working illegally are in trouble.

Do you have any plans to make a new agreement with the UAE?

Nepal government had reached an agreement with the UAE government in 2007 in regards to supplying Nepali workers. Since then there have been no bilateral agreements so far. Just like in the case of Middle East countries and Malaysia, Nepali embassy will initiate dialogue with the UAE government on the provision of free visa and air tickets to Nepali migrants bound for UAE.

There are complaints that diplomatic missions abroad do not heed to the complaints of migrant workers. How would you address their concerns?

Forget the past. During my tenure, Nepali workers in the UAE will get full support from the embassy. Nepali Embassy will have its presence at the companies that employ Nepali workers. Any problems faced by the workers will be sorted out as per the ILO legal procedure, in coordination with the UAE government.

Several migrant workers are behind bars there. How do they end up in jails?

I need to explore this issue further. Yes, I have heard that some Nepalis end up in jail because of their failure to renew the visa. I have also heard that some Nepalis create problems at public places by consuming liquor. Foreign Employment Promotion Board is providing legal counseling to Nepali workers in jails since last year. My first task in the UAE would be to get the Nepalis out of jails through diplomatic lobbying.

Are there any prospects of bilateral trade relations?

I can see many areas on which Nepal can work in tandem with the UAE. Nepal can have a high volume trade with it. Its current trade with UAE exceeds 29 billion per year. Nepal has been exporting goods worth 100 million per year to the UAE. Attempts to increase exports will be made.

UAE government has shown the interest to import water from Nepal. At present, the UAE has been importing agricultural goods from Canada and some African countries. Nepal can also supply agro goods to the UAE. The two countries can cooperate in other areas as well.

Publish Date : 26 February 2019 10:54 AM

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