India-Nepal Economic Partnership Summit seeks to create platform for deeper engagement

India-Nepal Economic Partnership Summit had been organized to create a uniquely important platform for discussing a forward-looking bilateral economic partnership agenda.

The Nepal SBI Bank Ltd (NSBL), Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI), Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the Startup Network (TSN), and PHDCCI’s India-Nepal Centre organized the summit on Thursday in Birgunj, Nepal.

The deliberations, supported by the decision-makers, were aimed at opening new avenues of business engagements and investments in the key sectors of the economy besides giving a much-needed boost to the trade near the crucial India-Nepal border at Birgunj, an economic hub of Nepal, according to a statement from PHDCCI India.

Among the key takeaways, creating a platform through joint action for deeper economic engagement between India and Nepal (with a focus on remittance, imports, exports, and Balance of Payment (BoP) challenges in Nepal), channelizing investment from India to Nepal and vice-versa and the re-establishment of the India-Nepal bilateral relations as the core strength of the sub-regional co-operation in South Asia were mentioned.

Other than these, the statement also mentioned creating a sustained convergence of industry and the government for thriving on the mutually beneficial India-Nepal bilateral relations in all crucial realms and bringing to notice the hidden potential in the Border Area Development Program (with a focus on connectivity) and paving the way for India’s major involvement in helping the infrastructural facelift of Nepal’s bordering districts in Bihar and making them the gateways of India-Nepal Trade Connection.

Discussion and ideation for making cluster-based economic zones across Nepal and further relaxation of the cross-border trade norms to secure and sustenance the greater economic engagements were among the takeaways.

While setting the tone of the Summit, the Session Chair Atul K Thakur, Nodal Coordinator, India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI, reflected on the necessity for having a collaborative approach among the stakeholders in the government and industry to tap the potential and also cope with the challenges in post-pandemic times.

Shreejana Rana, President, NICCI profiled the fundamental changes that Nepal’s economy is witnessing and she stressed the need to further simplify the procedures of doing business between two countries that have a long shared past of working closely.

Speaking at the summit at Birgunj, Chief Guest Ramesh Rijal, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Nepal government, assured of the required policy interventions to improve the economic indicators.

Sushil Bhatta, CEO, Investment Board Nepal, gave an outline of the recent investments from the major Indian entities like NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd (NVVN) and Dabur– and welcomed the Indian investments citing the advantages Nepal has a friendly destination and with progressive investment policies for projects.

Satish Pattapu, Consul (Economic Cooperation & Commerce), Consulate General of India, Birgunj, Nepal, shared an overview of the main constituents of economic cooperation and challenges at the policy level that need to be tackled. To further make the border trade movement smoother and more efficient, Shailendra Kumar, Consul (PCS) apprised about the steps being undertaken.

Dipak Kumar De, MD and CEO, Nepal SBI Bank (NSBL), and Rizwan Alam, Deputy CEO and CFO, Nepal SBI Bank, gave a detailed account of NSBL’s initiatives for fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Nepal and helped in easing the slowdown in the economy.

NSBL’s MD and CEO assured the industry captains and startups of offering the best in class banking services for Nepal’s successful transition from a recessionary to a booming economy with a focus on project finance and landing for removing liquidity crunch. NSBL, with a majority stake in the State Bank of India (SBI), has been working for almost three decades in Nepal in the private sector, it has created a niche for itself as a technology and innovation-driven bank with a resolve to support Nepal’s businesses and people. (ANI)



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