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India, Nepal to hold annual economic summits

By Anil Giri, Kathmandu, Feb 26 : India and Nepal are to hold annual economic summits alternately in each others' countries, it was announced here.


The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) jointly conveyed the decision to Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala here Tuesday evening.

A CII delegation led by president-designate Ajay S. Shriram is currently in Kathmandu to attend the Nepal Economic Summit-2014 as guests.

A statement released by FNCCI stated that the two industry bodies are intensely engaged and working closely to promote bilateral economic activities, injecting investment in new sectors.

"In a joint initiative of CII and FNCCI, the two sides have agreed to convene Nepal-Indian economic summit on annual basis in an alternative country," the statement said

The CII team held separate talks with President Yadav and Prime Minister Koirala and discussed bilateral economic, trade and investment expansion.

Rajive Kaul, past president of CII , Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of CII, Sanjay Budhia, chairman of the CII National Committee on Exports, and Manish Mohan, Director (South and Central Asia) of the CII were the memebers of the delegation that met Nepal's top leaders.

The CII delegation said that Indian investors were interested in employment generation, energy development, and commercialisation of agro-based industries, investment expansion and tourism in Nepal and urged the Nepali officials to create such a favourable environment that they can come in the Himalayan nation in a big way.

The CII representatives informed the president and prime minister of Nepal that both business organisations would work closely to create employment and economic development of their respective countries.

"The CII delegation is very encouraged from these two meetings and will convey the kind support provided by the president and the prime minister to potential Indian investors," the statement said.

While addressing the economic summit, CII president-designate Shriram stressed on closer economic integration and more balanced trade relations between Nepal and India. Highlighting how reforms initiated in the early 1990s in India heralded a new era in the Indian economy, Shriram said they were ready to share what they learnt.

"When import taxes were brought down from 350 percent to 30 percent, there was a hue and cry in India, but it ultimately helped enhance competitiveness of Indian industries," he said.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at girianil@gmail.com)

--IANS (Posted on 26-02-2014)

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