Nepal, India agree to promote bilateral investment, tourism

Kathmandu, February 5

Nepal and India have agreed to promote bilateral investment and tourism to deepen the economic ties between the two countries.

Speaking at the second series of Indo-Nepal Trade Fair and Tourism Festival that kicked off in Dehradun, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat said that Nepal can move forward through deepening economic relations with India.

Stating that both countries have long-standing socio-cultural, religious and economic ties, the chief minister emphasised on the need of developing cross-border infrastructure to expand the engagement between Nepal and Uttarakhand.

He also highlighted on expanding engagement between the industrialists and traders of border points of the two countries. “Nepal and India can jointly promote some of the religious — especially Hindu and Buddhist — circuits and take advantage of increased flow of tourists,” a statement issued by Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) quoted the Uttarakhand chief minister as saying.

Also speaking in the inaugural event of the fair, State Minister for Commerce Nar Bahadur Chand sought cooperation from the Indian government to minimise Nepal’s trade deficit with India, which is widening every passing year. He expressed hope that such trade fairs will help to boost the export of goods that have niche market advantage in India.

He highlighted some steps undertaken by the Nepal government to improve the investment climate in the country and assured Indian investors of good returns in the sectors like tourism, education, health, commercial agriculture, among others, that have completive edge.

BhawaniRana, president of FNCCI, said that such trade fairs help to take the business relation between two countries to a new height. She also stressed the potential of promoting religious tourism in both countries. In the context of increasing number of outbound travellers worldwide, Nepal and India can take advantage by promoting the tourism sector, which has vast potential in both the countries, the statement quoted Rana as saying.

She sought investment in hydroelectricity generation, tourism, processing of herbs, among others from India. “As far-western part of Nepal has been exporting herbs with medicinal value to India, Indian investment in processing of herbs in that particular region can transform the economy of the region,” Rana further said.

The trade fair, with 56 stalls showcasing agro and handicraft products, will conclude on Thursday, as per FNCCI.