KATHMANDU. On Thursday, November 19, Assistant Secretary of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) Don Lu and SCA Deputy Assistant Secretary Kelly Keiderling met with business leaders representing U.S. companies in Nepal for the announcement of the start of Nepal’s first-ever American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), during what was a pivotal part of their multi-day visit.
AmCham chapters exist worldwide and are members of the United States Chamber of Commerce, a voluntary not-for-profit organization that contributes to economic development through the promotion of United States’ companies and products. The initial 13 founding members of Nepal’s AmCham include:
- Ajit Shah (Lotus Holdings)
- Nirmal Shrestha (MetLife)
- Atulya Risal (Compliance Quest)
- Kailash Biyananda (Leapfrog Technology)
- Akash Golchha (Ford Distributor)
- Raj Shah (Budweiser Distributor)
- Jayadin Shrestha (Hyatt)
- Mangesh Lal Shrestha (Frost & Sullivan)
- Oskar Batas (Caterpillar Distributor)
- Asheem MS Basnyat (Pathao Ride Sharing)
- Sanjay Golchha (Dell Distributor)
- Sakar Pudasaini (Karkhana)
- Semanta Dahal (Legal Advisor)
Founding members exchanged ideas and aspirations for the new AmCham at the breakfast event at the Hyatt Regency. Assistant Secretary Lu said private companies had a hand in reducing poverty and fighting corruption, noting that he hopes AmCham Nepal includes both among its core missions in Nepal. Deputy Assistant Secretary Keiderling encouraged AmCham to use their platform to include more minorities and women into the formal economy, and was interested to hear from the founding members about the business environment. Ajit Shah, Chairman of AmCham, said Nepal has a very young and energetic population as a resource for economic growth, and wants to encourage businesses around the world to do business in Nepal.