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India and Nepal move closer to Enhance Bilateral Engagements

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India recently gifted Nepal 41 ambulances and 6 school buses to the government and non-profit organisations

With each passing day, India and Nepal are moving closer to enhance the business and bilateral partnerships. In order to provide businesses of both nations with a platform to collaborate, India and Nepal have announced the second edition of the Nepal-India Franchise Investment Expo to take place between October 16 to October 18 through a 3-D technology enabled virtual platform which has been developed and customised exclusively for the event.

The information has been shared by the Indian Embassy on twitter. It writes, “The Embassy of India in Kathmandu along with its partners – Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Nepalfranchise.com will be organisation the second edition of Nepal-India Franchise Investment Expo and Conclave from 16-18 October 2020.”

According to the embassy, the 3-day summit will set up a stage for the leading Indian Iconic brands in Nepal and Nepalese brands in India. The Summit will allow businesses of both nations to find collaboration opportunities and explore their markets in both nations.

The Embassy in an official statement said, “Their entry into each other’s economy will not only bring investment but also stimulate technology transfers and business knowhow.”

The embassy further said, “India and Nepal are economies with bustling start-up ecosystems. Brands and franchisees from both sides stand to benefit immensely from such events as they provide opportunity for entrepreneurs to quickly start their businesses, understand how brands are established and build upon the existing success of these brands in their domestic economy.”

The first edition of the summit was held in May 2019 with over 70 leading Indian brands and over 2,000 Nepalese brands participating in the event. Over 50 business engagements were generated during the event, the Embassy said.

India and Nepal have seen close partnerships in recent times. India, as part of its ‘Neighbourhood First Policy,’ has begun several projects in Nepal besides offering all possible aid to the Himalayan nation in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, India recently gifted Nepal 41 ambulances and 6 school buses to government and Non-Profit organisations in around 30 districts of the neighbouring country to mark the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2.

The Indian Embassy tweeted, “Government of India gifts 41 ambulances and 6 school buses to government and not-for-profit organizations in 30 districts of Nepal.”

India has provided around 823 ambulances to Nepal since 1994.

Not just that, Indian Embassy in Nepal, on October 3, held a webinar on ‘Sharing Knowledge and Experiences on Covid-19 Management” on the 56th anniversary of the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC). The webinar was organised to initiate discussions on ways to tackle COVID-19.

The Embassy later tweeted about the same.On the similar note, the Indian side in August this year, gifted 10 portable Incentive Care Unit (ICU) Ventilators.

Apart from that, India and Nepal have several ongoing projects in Nepal. In the 8th Oversight Mechanism Meeting in Kathmandu held virtually in August saw both nations discussing the status of these projects.

The projects include the reconstruction of houses of over 45,000 people in the earthquake hit regions of Gorkha and Nuwakot districts in Nepal. The projects also include Motihari-Amlekhganj pipeline between the two nations and the Virat Nagar Integrated Check Post.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, India has taken several initiatives to assist Nepal in development of border infrastructure through upgradation of 10 roads in Terai area, development of cross-border rail links at Jogbani-Biratnagar, Jaynagar-Bardibas; and establishment of Integrated Check Posts at Birgunj, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, and Nepalgunj.

The ministry’s data suggested that the total economic assistance under ‘Aid to Nepal’ was of around (INR) Rs 12,00 crore in the Financial Year 2019-2020.

In fact, the Indian government has extended the Lines of Credit of US $1.65 billion for projects like development of infrastructure in Nepal.

The economic relations between India and Nepal are also on the rise and India happens to be the largest trading partner of Nepal.

The government data suggests that the total bilateral trade between the two nations reached a high of US $8.27 billion in the Financial Year 2018 to 2019. While India imported goods worth US $508 million, the Indian exports to Nepal stood at US $7.76 billion.

According to a data, India happens to be one of the largest investors in Nepal with Indian firms investing over 30 per cent of the total approved FDI in Nepal. There are around 150 Indian companies operating in Nepal and some of the biggest investors include ITC, Dabur India, Hindustan Unilever, VSNL, TCIL, MTNL, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Asian Paints, CONCOR, GMR India, IL&FS, Manipal Group, MIT Group Holdings, Nupur International, Transworld Group, Patel Engineering, Bhilwara Energy, Bhushan Group, Feedback Ventures, RJ Corp, KSK Energy, Berger Paints, Essel Infra Project Ltd. and Tata Power, India among others, the data suggested.

On the other hand, India receives great assistance from Nepal in terms of Nepalese serving in the Indian Army. There are around 32,000 Gorkha Soldiers from Nepal serving in the India Army. Nepal also has one of the biggest diasporas in India.

Source: India News Network

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