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Nepal has failed to attract bigger FDI from India: Rae

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 22, 2016-Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has said Nepal has failed to attract bigger foreign direct investment (FDI) from the southern neighbour.

Although FDI commitments from China and other countries have grown lately, India has traditionally been Nepal’s largest source of foreign investment.

“Nepal should create investment friendly environment to attract more FDI from India,” said Rae at an interaction organised jointly by Nepal India Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs in association with Indian Embassy here on Monday.

Rae was of the view Nepal should make efforts to boost trade before complaining about trade facilitation. Trade facilitation has continued to remain Nepal’s one of the prime agendas in bilateral dealings with India.

India has agreed to allow Nepal to use its Visakhapatnam port and provide railway transit to reach the port during recent visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to India. The two countries also signed a Letter of Exchange on transit, enabling Nepal to do trade with Bangladesh without Indian restriction.

Another Letter of Exchange signed during the PM’s visit offers rail transit facility through Singabad for Nepal’s trade with and through Bangladesh. These moves are expected to help Nepal boost its exports and ease imports.

The Indian ambassador also stressed Nepali private sector could contribute in providing additional inputs in effective implementation of various policies, including bilateral trade.

During the interaction, experts urged devising a separate operational mechanism for effective implementation of bilateral commitments made at high political levels.

Shakti Sinha, director of India Foundation, said there was a large gap in the policy implementation of Nepal and India. “With the procedural complication, the formal trade has failed to boost up and informal trading is still taking a leap,” said Sinha, adding Nepal has to focus on receiving maximum benefits from Indian investment that is mainly focused now in Asian countries.

Deep Kumar Upadhyaya, Nepali Ambassador to India, said the Indian government has expressed its commitment to facilitate full-fledged supply of goods, including petroleum products to Nepal. “The Indian government has been asking Nepali authorities concerned to come up with the actual fuel demand of Nepal,” said Upadhyaya. Govinda Raj Pokharel, former vice-chairman of National Planning Commission, urged new commitment from the Indian government to implement old agreements.

Published: 22-03-2016 08:27

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