April 5: The 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 neighbours due to the absence of dialogue at the highest political level since the last few years has helped enhance mutual understanding. Also the significant agreements in the electricity and transportation sectors are expected make important contribution to the economic development of Nepal in days to come.
Moreover, the three-day official visit has paved the way for the governments of both the countries for increasing Indian investments in Nepal and facilitating exports towards India.
In 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 claiming that Nepal has suitable environment for investment. Prime Minister Deuba said that the official visit would help strengthen mutual relations between the two countries and hold 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 for charting out a road map for a prosperous nation by keeping the broader economic and social interests of Nepal at the centre.
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 sectors of Nepal.
He added that Nepal's private sector would facilitate in increasing Indian investment. Golchha underscored that the multinational companies investing in Nepal were making decent earning.
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 investment-friendly atmosphere. But there is no such situation now.”
According to him, India visit by the Nepal’s Prime Minister has inspired Indian business community to increase investment in Nepal.
The programme was attended by around 30 multinational companies in India where CEO’s of around 15 companies expressed their concerns and shared their experiences about the investment potentialities in Nepal. They said 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 could reap benefits from progress that India achieved from Modi’s ‘visionary’ leadership.
“No nation could achieve prosperity in absence of cooperation between the public and private sectors,” he said, expressing hope that creation of investment-friendly environment at home would attract foreign investment.
“Investment potential has 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 tourism sector has become easier due to the policy adopted by the government.
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, Indian business community stressed the need for India to facilitate Nepal's export to the neighbouring country and third countries.
During the meeting, they discussed issues ranging from carrying out infrastructural reforms at the transit points between the two countries to removing non-tariff barriers and of establishing a lab to check quality of agricultural products and validating lab tests of the products by both the countries.
"India should help Nepal to reduce our trade imbalance by increasing the exports of goods," said Mahesh Jaju, Chairperson of the Jaju Group. -- RSS