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Education, Tourism, Cross-Border Connectivity Potential Sectors of India-Nepal Cooperation: H E Bidya Devi Bhandari, Nepal President
Apr 18, 2017

Addressing an interactive session with Indian Industry, H E Bidya Devi Bhandari, Rt. Hon’ble President of Nepal invited Indian Industry to invest in Nepal. She highlighted the economic transformation that the country was undertaking which was opening up newer areas of investment. The Interactive Session was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in cooperation with Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The President of Nepal stated that her country was giving priority to economic growth and was committed to attract investment into the country. She highlighted that the Nepalese Government has unveiled a package of measures aimed at attracting FDI into the country. These include the reduction of tariffs, development of trade related infrastructure and simplification of the tax regime. She stated that there was no distinction between an Indian and a Nepalese investor.

She highlighted that India and Nepal had signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) – which she stated was under consideration by the Nepal Government for ratification. The Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement,has been signed as well, she stated.

She invited Indian industry to participate in sectors such as promoting cross-border connectivity, education and skill development , religious and cultural tourism and clean energy, among others.

In his address, Gen. (Dr) V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, stated that the India – Nepal relationship could not be defined in words. He stated that India – over the course of its economic development process – had developed technology which it felt would come in useful for Nepal as it pursues its own development process. He offered to share that technology with Nepal.

Hon. Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Government of Nepal stated that Nepal offers great potential for investment in sectors such as hydro-power generation, tourism, agro and food processing, infrastructure development among others. He highlighted the need to promote freer trade between the two countries and called for more transit points for trade between the two countries.

Mrs. Bhawani Rana, President, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), stated that Nepal offers various potential sectors of investment opportunities. These include hydro generation to tourism to agriculture to mines and mineral to information technology. She called for the implementation of the agreement being signed between the two countries on Power Trade  and for the development of spiritual tourist circuits like Buddhist Circuit and Ramayan Circuit.

Mr. S C Aggarwal, Senior Managing Committee Member, ASSOCHAM and Chairman, SMC Group stated that the India – Nepal border should not be a barrier but a bridge for prosperity and that there was a need to multiply business activities between the two countries threefold in the next three years.

Mr. Adarsh Sharma, Chairman, CII Core Group on Nepal and Chief Executive Officer – SAARC, Dabur India Ltd. stated that Indian firms are the biggest investors in Nepal, accounting for about 38.3% of Nepal’s total approved foreign direct investments. There are about 150 operating Indian ventures in Nepal engaged in manufacturing, services (banking, insurance, dry port, education and telecom), power sector and tourism industries.

Mr. Devin Narang, Senior Member, National Executive Committee, FICCI and Managing Director, Sindicatum Renewable Energy, stated that there was a need to establish a Joint Task Force between India and Nepal to promote Indian investments in the areas of infrastructure, project management, consultancy services and healthcare. He also called for a partnership between the two countries on skill development.

April 18, 2017

New Delhi

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