As the economic rebounding is the need of the hour to brave a new world in post-pandemic times, under the aegis of its India-Nepal Centre (INC) and in association with the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and State Bank of India (SBI), PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has hosted India-Nepal Investment & Development Partnership Summit 2021.
The Summit was organized with an aim to bring the important stakeholders of bilateral economic cooperation on a common idea platform from both India and Nepal to discuss some of the most crucial aspects concerning investment and development partnership between two countries.
The session was attended by the key policymakers from both the government and industry to ideate the way forward for an ever closer cooperation between India and Nepal on the key issues including: Indian Investment and Development Partnership in Nepal: Are they game changers in the long run?; Covid-19 & changing scenario of Investment and Development Partnership in Nepal; Strategizing Nepal’s economic development with Investment and Development Partnership from India; Re-prioritising production, employment and inclusive development; Finding an alternative development paradigm for Nepal
“Nepal is on the path of generating economic prosperity by creating robust legal and policy framework aimed at providing a conducive business environment for the private sector as one of the main pillars of economic development,” said Sushil Bhatta, CEO, Investment Board Nepal and Chief Guest/Keynote Speaker of the Summit. He added that the pandemic has changed the fundamentals of investment priorities; however, the cooperation between India and Nepal is still robust and promising. He laid stress on the energy and infrastructure as two main areas where Indian investment in Nepal has created a very positive developmental momentum in Nepal, and for making South Asia a “Growth Hub”, the unique investment and development partnership between two countries should stay on the path of progression.
K V Rajan, Chair, India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI & India’s Former Ambassador to Nepal reflected on the needs for closer cooperation with India and Nepal, so the youth of the region should get fair career opportunities at their homeland. For making it happen, he cited the critically important role of liberal trade regime and active interface between the government and industry. Nirvana Chaudhary, Chair, India-Nepal Centre (Nepal), PHDCCI-CNI has said that India continues to be the most important trade and development partner of Nepal. Such economy of scale is hard to find in any other bilateral economic relations with Nepal, he said that startup ecosystems, fintech and remittance are the areas where the India-Nepal Centre will work with the partners like industry chambers, IBN and other government institutions.
Ram Prasad Subedi, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Nepal in India has counted stakeholder’s role as decisive in both investment and development partnership. He said that India has been and will be a formidable investment and development partner of Nepal, and together, both countries should explore tapping the low-hanging fruits in Nepal. This will be a win-win situation for both countries.
Abhishek Upadhyay, First Secretary & Commercial Representative, Embassy of India in Nepal lauded the theme of the Summit and reassured about India’s unwavering commitment for the development of Nepal through investment and development partnership assistance.
He said that India continues to be the largest trading partner of Nepal, despite the unprecedented disruption with Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, trade flow has gone up between India and Nepal. He appreciated the pioneering works of SBI in Nepal and now opening of its “Nepal Help Desk” that should help the businesses on both sides, he acknowledged a vital role of PHDCCI’s India-Nepal Centre, CNI and IBN in fostering such business initiatives.
Anukool Bhatnagar, CGM, SBI & Former MD & CEO, Nepal SBI Bank Ltd (NSBL) has shared about the recently-launched “SBI Nepal Desk” and with a mission to support businesses to expand in both countries. He said, “We greatly value our ties with the institution like PHDCCI’s India-Nepal Centre and the industry chambers in Nepal and I am inviting them to engage with us and avail our services in Nepal. In a bid to strengthen the universe of bilateral business partnership, we have started the SBI Nepal Nepal Desk that should cater the businesses as well as the Nepali Diaspora living in different parts of the country including in India’s northern states. He said that despite the major disruption with Covid-19, the development works have been in full swing and this will help the economy to bounce back.”
“Indeed, in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, lives and livelihoods have been adversely impacted in an unprecedented manner. As the crisis has global nature, India and Nepal are severely impacted as well with the crisis created by global pandemic. To mitigate the economic losses and ensure rebounding, PHDCCI’s India-Nepal Centre has been relentlessly working and making positive outcomes for the greater common goods,” said Pradeep Multani, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI.
“For making a robust startup ecosystem, Nepal should work closely with the industry counterparts in India where the startups are playing a major role in the economic development of the country. He said that PHDCCI can be a partner for making positive entrepreneurial changes and welcomes collaborations with counterparts like CNI,” Anil Khaitan, Former President, PHDCCI.
“Even when the emerging scenario is full of uncertainties, it is surely a matter of great satisfaction how people are helping each other and the government and industry playing their roles in mitigating the unprecedented risk and challenges. Moving forward, we are trying our level best to keep India’s inclusive growth momentum on. In the process, we are very much open to engage with the industry fraternity in Nepal to carry forward the mission of creating “Shared Prosperity” in the South Asian region,” said Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI while summing up the proceedings.
In partnership with the Embassies on both sides, industry associations like CNI and other industry stakeholders, PHDCCI’s Bilateral Economic Think Tank “India-Nepal Centre” has been working as an Apex Industry Chamber of India with a very deep presence in Nepal. Both at policy and grassroots levels, India-Nepal Centre have been working for fostering economic cooperation and development partnership between India and Nepal.
The Summit was curated and coordinated by Atul K Thakur, Nodal Coordinator, India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI, and attended by among others, Praveena Kala, Director, Paramount Cables Ltd; O P Choudhary, DGM (SME), SBI; Vivek Gupta, Chief Manager, SBI; Aditya Tripathi, Joint Secretary, PHDCCI.