(Mr. Mohan Krishna Shrestha is a diplomat by profession. He worked more than 31 years in the diplomatic service of Nepal. During the service Mr Shrestha played intensive roles in various posts. From 2010 to 2014, he was the resident Ambassador of Nepal to France and also the non-resident Ambassador for Greece, Monaco, Portugal and Spain, as well as Permanent Delegate for UNESCO based in Paris. Earier, has had served as the the Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Nepal. Ambassador Shretha had travelled to 74 countries of the world. He had penned a book titled "Kutinity Ma Teen Dashak" which is widely considered to be useful for all types of readers. Further, he had established, together with his friends, a track II diplomatic think tank Center for Diplomacy and Development in Kathmandu. CDD is undertaking several activities in the fields of diplomacy and economic issues.
Mr. Shrestha was also appointed as the first Non-resident Ambassador of Nepal to the Principality of Monaco. He has been credited in diplomatic circles for his contribution to promote the relationship between Monaco and Nepal. On the eve of the National Day of Monaco i.e. 19th November, Rajyadainik is pleased to present an interview with Ambassador Shrestha taken by Saroj Ojha, Executive Editor focussing on diplomatic and other areas between Nepal and Monaco)
Q 1 : Can you describe your association with Monaco?
Ans: First of all, I wish to thank Rajya Dainik for giving me this opportunity to speak something about Monaco. As Monaco is going to celebrate her National Day on 19 November, I humbly offer my heartful congratulations and best wishes to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco/Head of the State, Monagasque Government and to her friendly people.
It is a tiny micro state located in the southern part of France. It is bordered by Italy in the east, French territory in the north and west and in the south lies bluish Mediterranean sea. Total area of the country is barely about 2 square kilometers. Population is around 35,000 pax.
Q2 : when were you appointed as Ambassador of Nepal to Monaco?
Ans: I reached Paris upon my appointment as Ambassador of Nepal to France in June 2010. As a rule, our Ambassador to France is concurrently appointed as Non-resident Ambassador to Monaco.Diplomatic relations between our two countries was established on 15 May 2012. I presented my Letter of Credence to His Serene Highness Sovereign Prince Albert II same day amidst a special ceremony in the palace in Monte Carlo, capital city. It was a well tailored and managed function. Monagasque government is very protocol conscious and gives importance to the etiquettes.
I was, therefore, the first non-resident Ambassador of Nepal to Monaco.
Q 3: How is the overall situation in that tiny country?
Ans: Monaco is a very lovely country, although small in size. Whole country looks like a beautiful garden. It is the second smallest country by size in the world. Yet Monaco has earned a very high reputation in view of its financial muscle. Many millionaires and billionaires live here quietly. There is a very peaceful atmosphere throughout the country. As land is scarce, government is reclaiming land from the sea through reclamation projects. Construction activities are going on. Thousands of tourists also visit this famous country. Living standard is quite high. Amost all foodstuff and other essential goods are being imported from several countries. Monaco has one of the highest per capita income in the world.
Q 4: What is the main business/occupation of the population.
Ans: People are working in the government, private sector and financial sectors. Real estate business is thriving. Land is the most expensive thing in this country. We cannot imagine prices. There are some types of businesses running. Restaruant business is also good. Service industry is well managed and running smoothly. Monte Carlo casino is famous and rich people come to paly games there. It is a famous place for visit and gaming.Monaco is synonimuous with opulence.
Q 5: I think Prince Albert II is the sovereign Prince/Head of the State of Monaco? Have you ever met him?
Ans: Yes, at the time of presentation of credential, he very fondly received me and also invited for talks after the ceremony. HSH Prince loves our country and people. He had donated some amounts for the construction of a school building in Dhading district. He personally flew from Monaco to Nepal in November 2011 to inaugurate the building. He told me that he can never forget the beautiful smiles of the children who lined to welcome him in the early morning during the inauguration under the blue sky.
Q 6: What are the potentialities of expanding ties between our two countries?
Ans: After the ceremony, during the talks, I apprised HSH Prince about the changes coming in our country. I requested him to tell Monagasque business community to invest in our country as there are so many lucrative areas, including hydropower, in the country. I also apprised him of our Foreign Direct Investment policy and its provisions. HSH Prince replied to me that if there are any good projects, he will inform right businessman in Monaco. Tourism and FDI are two areas which can be promoted in Monaco, in my opinion. Our Honorary Consulate General office in Monte Carlo can be useful in this regard.
Overall, HSH Prince has very good affection and feelings towards Nepal and Nepali people.