A high-level CII delegation led by Mr B Muthuraman, President, CII, and Vice Chairman, Tata Steel Ltd. is slated to call on H E Dr Ram Baran Yadav, President of Nepal, and H E Dr Baburam Bhattarai, Prime Minister of Nepal, in Kathmandu on 6th April. The CII delegation will also interact with Hon'ble Mr. Anil Kumar Jha, Industry Minister of Nepal during the 3-day visit.
The CII CEOs delegation also includes Mr Rajive Kaul, Past President, CII & Co Chairman, CII – FNCCI JEC, and Chairman, NICCO Corporation; Mr K Ramchand Chief Executive Officer (Infrastructure), Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd.; Mr Sanjiv Puri, Chief Executive (ITD), ITC Limited; and Mr S Sen, Principal Advisor, CII.
The delegation is visiting Nepal at the invitation of Mr Suraj Vaidya, President, FNCCI, to address the Annual General Meeting of FNCCI. CII and FNCCI signed a MoU in 1994 and set up a Joint Economic Council in 1996 to take up issues of common concern.
Some of the issues which would come up for discussion with the Prime Minister of Nepal in this visit include enhancing Indian investments in Nepal in Hydropower sector with an objective of re exports to India, Security of Indian Investments in Nepal, Cooperation in Tourism sector including setting up of resorts and hotels by Indian businesses, Harnessing the opportunities in Education and Healthcare by setting up more R & D facility, with Indian expertise.
The meeting is part of CII’s intensive activities to engage with Nepalese industry. A CII Hydropower delegation had called on H E Dr Baburam Bhattarai, Prime Minister, in Kathmandu in February 2012. CII also met the Hon’ble Prime Minister in October 2011 when he had invited Indian companies to invest in various sectors such as agro and food processing, power transmission links, infrastructure, tourism, IT and financial services. In the last few years, several CII delegations have visited Nepal.
India-Nepal bilateral trade has increased four times since 2001-02 to $ 2.7 billion in 2010-11 with India’s exports to Nepal at $2.2 billion and Nepal’s exports to India at $0.51 billion. Indian companies are the largest investors in Nepal accounting for 47.5% of total approved foreign investments. About 150 Indian companies are active in the northern neighbor, in areas such as manufacturing, financial services, education, power, and tourism. Some large Indian investors include ITC Limited, Dabur India, Hindustan Unilever, etc. Direct and indirect employment by Indian companies adds up to almost 100,000.
Hydropower has emerged as an attractive sector for Indian investments in Nepal and several India companies have secured survey licenses for projects, including the 900 Megawatt Arun III project by Jal Vidyut Nigam and 900 Megawatt Upper Karnali and 600 Megawatt Upper Marsyangdi projects by GMR.
Some issues faced by Indian companies in Nepal relate to inadequate border facilities, customs cooperation, security, labour issues, etc.