To create a uniquely important platform for discussing a forward looking bilateral economic partnership agenda, in association with the Consulate General of India, Birgunj (Nepal) and Birgunj Chamber of Commerce & Industries (BICCI), The India-Nepal Centre of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organised the second edition of India-Nepal Economic Partnership Summit 2023 on 20 December 2023 at Birgunj, Nepal. The deliberations supported by the decision-makers were aimed for opening new avenues of business engagements in the key sectors of economy besides giving a much needed boost to the trade near the crucial India-Nepal border at Birgunj, an economic hub of Nepal.
Among the key takeaways of the Summit were:
To create a platform through joint action for deeper economic engagement between India and Nepal (with focus on remittance, imports, exports and Balance of Payment (BoP) challenges in Nepal).
To channelise investment from India to Nepal and other ways round.
To re-establish the India-Nepal bilateral relations as the core strength of the sub-regional co-operation in South Asia.
To create a sustained convergence of industry and government, for thriving on the mutually beneficial India-Nepal bilateral relations in all crucial realms.
To bring-in to notice the hidden potential in the Border Area Development Programme 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.
To discuss further and ideate for making Cluster-based Economic Zones across Nepal.
To further relax the cross-border trade norms to secure and sustain the greater economic engagements.
While setting the tone of the Summit, the Session Chair Atul K Thakur, Secretary, India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI reflected on the necessity for having a collaborative approach among the stakeholders’ in the government and industry to tap the rich potential and also cope the challenges in post-pandemic times through India-Nepal economic cooperation. With emphasis on the Summit’s dwelt discussion points (New Roadmap for Accelerating India-Nepal Bilateral Cooperation; Promoting Industrial Development in Nepal and India; Revisiting Bilateral Trade Policies; Expanding Bilateral and Sub-regional Economic Cooperation; Improving Border Area Development and Connectivity), the discussions took place during the Summit.
In his opening remarks, Anil Kumar Agrawal, President, Birgunj Chamber of Commerce & Industries (BICCI) recounted Birgunj’s achievements as a major trade hub of Nepal and how BICCI has been contributing over the decades in making the industry and trade, the mainstay of this place crucially important for India-Nepal economic relations. He said that, with the PHDCCI India-Nepal Centre, such bilateral economic forums will be a regular exercise to help the bilateral economic ecosystem between India and Nepal.
The Chief Guest & Keynote Speaker of Summit Devi Sahai Meena, Consul General of India, Birgunj, Nepal reassured India’s support to accelerate the economic cooperation between India and Nepal. Through policy and implementation, India has been a key development partner of Nepal. He added that the India-Nepal relations are supported with complementarities and people-to-people, something that should be counted as strong foundational support. Mr 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 policy level that need to be tackled.
The other key speakers were, Amb Lok Raj Baral, Nepal’s Former Ambassador to India; Jagdish Prasad Agrawal, Chairman, Nimbus Group of Companies; Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Factory Manager, Unilever Nepal Ltd; Deepak Rauniar, Founder CEO, Oorja World; Bikas Rauniar, Executive Director, Interstate Multi Modal Transport (P) Ltd; Mahesh Kumar Agrawal, Bihar State Coordinator, Seema Jagran Manch; Ashok Kumar Baidya, Chairman, Nepal-Bharat Sahyog Manch; Chandra Kishore, Senior Journalist; Rachana Parajuli, Deputy Director, Nepal Rastra Bank; Rakesh Kumar Mishra, Executive Director, North-South Collectives; Dr Sohan Prasad Sha, Member (Province Policy and Planning Commission), Government of Madhesh Province, Nepal; Kunal Kayal, Chairperson (Industry & Export Promotion Committee), NICCI; Abhishek Choudhary, President, NICCI Birgunj Chapter; Niraj Agrawal, Director, Surgiprotect Pluss Pvt Ltd & Joint Secretary, Birgunj Chamber of Commerce & Industries.
Well-timed and meant to foster the border trade with emphasis on bilateral and subregional economic cooperation, the second edition of “India-Nepal Economic Partnership Summit 2023” concluded with providing business linkages and partnerships.