What do you see as the main constraints and challenges of operating the EPS (Employment Permit System)?
I had an opportunity to meet members of ANKUR, the organisation of Nepali workers who have returned from Korea who wish to make use of the skills and technology which they learned for the development of Nepal. The Korean government will try to find suitable ways to implement industrial technology transfer. EPS has been running successfully, but we still need to see how we can improve this system. For example, some Nepali migrant workers are not able to adjust to life in Korea, and some have committed suicide. Both governments are trying to provide psychological care at worker’s orientation before leaving for Korea and after arriving in Korea. Another constraint is the shortage of air tickets which is causing problems for some Nepali workers to reach their destination in time in Korea.
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The Nepal government wants to encourage Korean tourists, what can be done to promote tourism?
More than 34,000 Korean visit Nepal annually in order to go trekking or to visit Lumbini. There is great potential for attracting more Korean tourists if Korean travel agents are allowed to provide tailor-made tour programs for Korean tourists. More promotion is needed if the Nepal government wants to promote Buddhist pilgrimage tourism in Korea.
Do you have plans to build on cultural diplomacy using the popularity of Korean pop in Nepal?
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Kathmandu has been organising various cultural events every year such as Korean traditional food exhibition, Korean Speech Contest, K-pop song, and dance performances and Korean cooking classes. We also find that about 100,000 Nepalese are currently enjoying the game of taekwondo. The Embassy will organise ‘Korean Ambassador Cup’ taekwondo Champion later this year and hold it every two years. Nepal has a huge potential to obtain medals in taekwondo in Olympics, South Asian Games, and SAARC games.
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