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‘Nepal can be bridge for India-China trade’

‘Nepal can be bridge for India-China trade’

“Nepal could be a corridor to move goods between India and China that cuts down transport time and saves money. It is in a fantastic position to create a win-win situation for all three,” Vaidya said. He pointed out that Nepal borders the lesser developed parts of both neighbours,” Suraj Vaidya, a past president of Nepal’s industry chamber FNCCI said at a panel discussion with Nepali Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada.

“Nepal has Tibet on one side, which is a remote region sparsely populated, while on the Indian side there are the populous states of West Bengal and Bihar,” Vaidya, who heads the diversified VOITH group added.

The event was held as part of the two-day Nepal Investment Summit 2019 organised by the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and the World Bank to promote the Himalayan nation as an investment destination post the political stability ushered in by the new constitution adopted in 2015. The third of its kind after 1992 and 2017 , the summit was attended by potential investors from 40 countries, apart from top officials of multilateral agencies like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and International Finance Corporation.

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) enjoys two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The Chinese and Indian presence dominated at the summit, where, out of over 700 foreign delegates participating, 265 were from China and 120 from India, according to the IBN.

As many as 77 viable projects (50 public and 27 private) worth $32 billion were showcased at the event.

Vaidya said while the situation is “tough” for a a small country sandwiched between the “giants” India and China, Nepal’s location can also be turned into its advantage.

India and Nepal have an open border and the Indian currency circulates freely in Nepal. Under the Treaty of Trade, India provides, on a non-reciprocal basis, duty free access to the Indian market for all Nepal-manufactured articles barring

a short negative list of cigarettes, alcohol and cosmetics,

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Director General (Investment Operations) Dong-ik Lee said logistics is a high return and high value added sector that Nepal can leverage, being located between China and India.