The Union Minister of
Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley, shared India’s experience in reforming its
economy and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) at the Nepal
Investment Summit 2017 held at Kathmandu on 2-3 March, 2017. He stated
that Indian and Nepal share deep-rooted historical, cultural and
religious ties which have enabled extensive cooperation in trade and
economic fields between the two countries.
While addressing the Nepal Investment Summit 2017, the Union Minister of
Finance stated that India and Nepal have wide ranging engagement in
trade and investment and that Nepal is well poised to attract further
FDI from India by creation of a conducive legal and regulatory
framework. India is Nepal’s largest partner in trade and investment with
more than 2/3rd of Nepal’s trade being with India and India accounting
for nearly 40% of total FDI in Nepal. The two countries have open
border, grant national treatment to each other’s citizens and millions
of Nepali citizens live and work in India. Nepal has several important
sectors such as hydropower, transmission lines, road and rail networks,
health, education, tourism, irrigation etc in which it can attract
Indian investments. India is ready to invest in the projects of
Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track road, second international airport at
Nijgadh, Koshi High Dam etc.
During his official visit, the Union Minister of Finance called on the
President of Nepal Smt Bidya Devi Bhandari and the Prime Minister Shri
Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. He also held meetings with Deputy Prime
Minister and Finance Minister of Nepal Shri Krishna Bahadur Mahara and
Industry Minister Shri Nabindra Raj Joshi. The Union Minister of Finance
also paid obeisance at the Pashupati Nath Temple.
In his bilateral meetings, the Union Minister of Finance conveyed
India’s abiding commitment to partner with Nepal in meeting its
aspirations for socio-economic growth. Recalling the construction of
several Integrated Check Posts, rail links, Hulaki roads, schools,
health posts, etc with Indian assistance, Shri Arun Jaitley stated that
India stands ready to make available more soft loans for new
infrastructure projects which would enable Nepal grow at a fast pace.
In order to address the issue of high trade deficit, Shri Arun Jaitley
suggested that Nepal may expand its export basket by attracting more
Indian investment in export-oriented industries. Further, the early
completion of power projects like Upper Karnali and Arun-III, Nepal
would be able to export electricity to India. He urged that the issues
of forest land and land acquisition which have delayed the projects
should be resolved at the earliest.
The Nepali leaders thanked Shri Arun Jaitley for India’s development
assistance and highly appreciated India’s assistance for post-earthquake
reconstruction of Nepal. Deputy PM of Nepal Shri Mahara in particular
thanked the Government of India for facilitating export of nearly 380 MW
of electricity throughout this winter which has enabled several regions
of Nepal become free of load-shedding. The two countries now have
transmission lines for trade of nearly 500 MW of electricity, which
would increase to over 750 MW by mid-2017.
The visit of Union Minister of Finance to Nepal highlights the
importance India attaches to its relations with Nepal. The meetings were
held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, which traditionally characterize
the relations between India and Nepal.