Qatari investors keen in importing mineral water

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Qatar mainly imports mineral-mixed bottled water from France and Italy

Mar 8, 2018-Qatari investors have expressed interest in importing mineral water from Nepal besides financing production plants. A group of potential financiers have launched feasibility studies to establish factories at a number of locations in Nepal. 

Nepali Ambassador to Qatar Ramesh Prasad Koirala told the Post that a number of entrepreneurs from Qatar were keen to invest in Nepal to produce water containing natural minerals. According to Koirala, bottled water containing minerals in their natural form is in great demand in the Gulf country.

Koirala said entrepreneurs were exploring several sites in Nepal containing natural mineral-rich water. “The investors have been looking at potential locations close to the Himalaya to set up production plants,” Koirala said. “They expect mineral water from the Himalaya to sell well, so they have planned to set up production plants.”

According to him, Qatar mainly imports mineral-mixed bottled water from France and Italy. Mineral-mixed water costs about $1.50 for a half-litre bottle in the Gulf country. 

“The entrepreneurs have reported that they could produce high quality mineral water at a relatively lower cost compared to similar products imported from Europe,” Koirala said. According to him, the investors plan to set up a joint venture company to produce bottled water. He said that the production capacity and amount of investment had not been determined. 

Nepali bottled water producers have long been eyeing export markets. According to the Nepal Bottled Water Industries Association, there are more than 200 licensed bottled water manufacturers in the Kathmandu Valley alone. 

Himalayas Spring Water, which maintains a production plant in Dhunche, Rasuwa, is the only company exporting bottled water. The company’s Himalaya Ontop brand bottled water is exported to South Korea and Hong Kong. 

Meanwhile, Qatari investors have also expressed interest in importing organic vegetables from Nepal, Koirala said. According to him, Qatari investors have been making large investments in farm products abroad.

Nepali traders have sent several consignments of green vegetables to the Middle East in a bid to explore export markets. However, poor infrastructure and the absence of cold storage facilities at the production site and Tribhuvan International Airport has been an obstacle to efforts to export farm products.

Koirala said Qatar Airways has pledged to arrange air transportation of perishable goods if the export plan materialises. “If legal formalities are simplified and the necessary infrastructure is provided, there is high potential for the export of various types of goods to Qatar,” he added. 

Published: 08-03-2018 08:21

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