Industrialists, businessmen term Prime Minister's India visit ‘productive’

Published On: April 4, 2022 05:15 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 4: The private sector industrialists and businessmen of Nepal and India have claimed that Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's three-day visit to India has been highly productive and successful. 

They believe that the prime minister's visit that took place amidst a myriad of problems in the trade and business sector between the two close South Asian neighbors due to the absence of dialogue at the highest political level since the last some years has helped enhance mutual understanding. 

Also the agreements of significance in the electricity and transportation sectors will make an important contribution for the economic development of Nepal in days to come. Moreover, the three-day official visit has paved the way for the governments of both countries to increase Indian investments in Nepal and facilitate exports towards India. 

During an interaction with Indian businessmen during his visit, PM Deuba encouraged the Indian investors, industrialists and businessmen to invest in the energy, infrastructure and tourism sectors as Nepal has a suitable investment environment. The Prime Minister said that he had come on an official visit to India for strengthening the mutual historical relations between the two countries and for holding discussions on matters of bilateral economic cooperation. He expressed the belief that Nepal-India ties would gain new height with his visit. 

On the occasion, he called on the private sector to participate in the nation's development, saying the time has come for all Nepalis to once again come together to chart out a road map for a prosperous nation by keeping the broader economic and social interests of Nepal at the center.

Addressing the programme organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in New Delhi, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) President Shekhar Golchha, who was a member in the Prime Minister's entourage, said there is immense possibility for investment by Indian industrialists and businessmen in the hydropower, tourism, production-based sector and information technology areas among the service sector of Nepal. 

Golchha added that Nepal's private sector would facilitate increasing Indian investment in Nepal as it is declining in recent years. He argued that the multinational companies investing in Nepal are making decent earnings. 

CII President TV Narendran said, “Now Nepal is one of the attractive destinations for Indian investors.”  Few years back, Nepal was enduring internal conflict, political instability and electricity crisis and COVID-19 crisis in the past two years had its implications on the building of an investment-friendly atmosphere, he said, adding   there is no such situation now. 

According to him, India's visit by Nepal's Prime Minister has been a contribution to the enhancement of cordiality at the political level and this has inspired the Indian business community to increase investment in Nepal.  

On the occasion, he announced the cooperation from the CII’s energy mechanism for promoting investment in Nepal and quality in the export of agri-products. 

The programme was attended by around 30 multinational companies in India where CEO’s from around 15 companies expressed their concerns and shared their experiences about the investment potentialities in Nepal.  As they assessed, Nepal offers opportunities for investment in big projects relating to IT, infrastructure and hydropower.   

During a discussion between the office-bearers of FNCCI and CII, Indian investors put their queries about promotion of cooperation in investment, implementation of the joint-projects and Nepal-India investment and trade facilitation among others. 

FNCCI senior vice president Chandra Dhakal said Nepal enjoyed India’s continuous support in  multi-sectors including  economic, social and political and as he  explained, Nepal could reap benefits from progress that India achieved from Modi’s ‘visionary’ leadership.  “No nation could achieve prosperity in the absence of cooperation between the public and private sectors,”  he said, while expressing hope that creation of an investment-friendly environment at home would attract foreign investment.  

“Potentialities have been increasing in Nepal’s tourism sector and existing tourism infrastructure will be insufficient in the next two years,” he said, adding that investment in the tourism sector had been easier due to the government policy. 

This visit of the PM has achieved a breakthrough in hydropower, a sector which has been struggling to yield results for 40 to 50 years, argued hydropower entrepreneur Gyanendra Lal Pradhan. 

Willingness of India to purchase energy from Nepal would help the country find the market for its energy, he said. 

Stating that Nepal, having traditional relations with India, was searching for ways to increase its export to India, the Indian business community stressed the need for India to facilitate Nepal's export to the neighboring country and third countries. 

In the meeting, the discussed issues included that of carrying out infrastructural reforms at the transits between the two countries and removing non-tariff barriers and of establishing a lab to check quality of agricultural products and validating lab tests of the products carried out by both the countries. 

During the PM's official visit to India, the first one since COVID-19 struck, Nepal should stress the need for implementing various projects, said Mahesh Jaju, Chairperson of the Jaju Group. 

"India should help Nepal to reduce our trade imbalance by increasing the exports of goods," he said. 



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