KATHMANDU, Oct 2: In a momentous development for economic collaboration, the Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NICCI) and the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) have solidified their commitment to enhancing bilateral economic relations between Nepal and India.
This partnership was commemorated with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the inaugural day of the Indo-Pacific Economic Conclave 2023, held in Kolkata, India.
The formal signing of the MoU was conducted by Shreejana Rana, president of NICCI, and Subir Chakraborty, president of BCCI. This agreement marks the start of a new era of economic cooperation between the two chambers of commerce.
The Indo-Pacific Economic Conclave 2023, meticulously organized by the BCCI, provided the ideal backdrop for this significant collaboration. During the event, NICCI President Shreejana Rana addressed critical issues pertaining to the Indo-Pacific region, spanning cargo shipment, infrastructure development, logistics optimization, supply chain efficiency, visa regulations, and more.
In her address, Rana underscored the enormous potential of the Indo-Pacific region, highlighting its economic vibrancy, cultural diversity, and capacity for innovation. She emphasized the need to confront pressing challenges affecting the region's progress, including infrastructure gaps, logistical bottlenecks, and the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains.
Rana also raised concerns related to visa regulations, non-tariff barriers, environmental sustainability, and climate change, all of which can significantly impact cross-border trade and investment.
To address these multifaceted challenges, Rana proposed a comprehensive set of solutions. Her recommendations encompassed initiatives for infrastructure development to enhance regional connectivity, streamlining trade agreements to reduce barriers and boost economic integration, harmonizing regulations to expedite cross-border trade processes, and promoting supply chain flexibility.
She further advocated for bilateral agreements on labor movement to address workforce shortages and skills gaps in various sectors. Digitalization and e-commerce initiatives were also highlighted as key strategies to facilitate the smooth flow of goods and services across borders, minimizing administrative burdens.
Recognizing the growing importance of environmental considerations in global trade, Rana called for collaborative efforts to address environmental concerns and promote sustainable practices. She encouraged regional stakeholders to adopt eco-friendly trading practices and engage in responsible environmental stewardship.
Cultural exchanges, educational programs, and tourism were highlighted as means to foster greater understanding and cooperation among nations. Rana stressed the significance of cultivating a regional identity to strengthen cooperation further.
She also emphasized the pivotal role of collaborative research and innovation initiatives in driving economic growth and technological advancement. Disaster management and relief efforts, including the establishment of early warning systems and joint response teams, were proposed to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on the region's economies.
As part of their agenda to enhance seamless connectivity and promote tourism, Rana unveiled a Coffee Table Book on Spiritual Circuits between Nepal and India. This beautifully curated book features five religious circuits - Ramayana, Mahabharat, Shivashakti, Buddhist, and Sikh - in both countries, promoting cultural exchanges and tourism.
The signing of this MoU signifies a deep commitment to strengthening economic ties between Nepal and India. NICCI and BCCI are poised to collaborate effectively to unlock the full potential of the Indo-Pacific region, creating a more prosperous and interconnected future while laying a strong foundation for mutually beneficial economic cooperation.